By Yuri Tarantin (Allboxing.ru) and Alexey Sukachev
On May 21, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) is about to take the plunge in the deepest waters of his ten-year career when he risks his title against powerful #1 contender Alexander Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOs) in Povetkin’s backyard of Moscow, Russia.
Four days prior to Wilder’s big defense, another fighter will have the toughest fight of his career. IBF #3 rated Russian boxer Murat Gassiev (22-0, 16 KOs), still just 22-years-old, battles another American Jordan Schimmel (20-1, 16 KOs) in an IBF final cruiserweight eliminator.
As previously reported on BoxingScene.com, the undefeated Russian served as one of chief sparring partners in Wilder’s training camp.
“Murat sparred with Wilder. They has already had three sparring sessions”, said Alexey Vasiliev, his Russian promoter (as part of Ural Boxing Promotions) to Allboxing.ru.
“We have agreed to four (sparring sessions). Prizefighting is a sport above everything else, and Murat struggles mightily to find someone to test his skills against. That’s why we have offered our services to Deontay and his team.”
“We are all rooting for Alexander (Povetkin) in the upcoming fight”, continued Vasiliev. “And Murat says Povetkin has a good chance to upset the apple cart. Will Murat advise Alexander [of what took place in camp]? No, he won’t. We cannot do something like that, it’s the wrong thing to do from a moral standpoint. Murat has also sparred with Dmitry Kudryashov and Dominic Breazeale, who is about to challenge IBF champion Anthony Joshua for his title in summer.”