Mike Balogun vs Murat Gassiev Preview March 3rd, 2023
Former IBF and WBA Cruiserweight Champion Murat Gassiev of Russia returns to the ring this Friday, March 3rd when he takes on unbeaten Mike Balogun of Maryland, USA. The heavyweight bout takes place in Armenia with Gassiev entering the ring as the Eurasian Parliament Heavyweight Champion. He last fought in August when he stopped Carlouse Welch in just 87 seconds to win his belt. Balogun last saw action in October when he halted Marcus Oliveira in the second round.
Balogun vs Gassiev Betting Odds
- Mike Balogun +800
- Murat Gassiev -1500
Gassiev won his IBF Cruiserweight title in December, 2016 by beating Denis Lebedev via a split decision and then added the WBA version by stopping Yuniel Dorticos in the 12th round in February, 2018 in the World Boxing Super Series. However, he lost those titles in the tournament final when he dropped a unanimous decision to Oleksandr Usyk in July, 2018. Gassiev then moved up to heavyweight and has fought just three times since losing to Usyk, which is his lone loss as a pro. It seems that Gassiev has been around forever but he’s just 29 years old and has a fine record of 29-1 with 22 Ko’s.
He made his pro debut in 2011 after his amateur career and has 138 rounds of experience under his belt. Gassiev possesses solid power in his fists as his current knockout ratio stands at 71 per cent. He stands just over 6-feet-3-inches tall with a 76-inch reach and was fighting out of California but recently received Armenian citizenship. North American fans may be familiar with Gassiev as he’s fought a few times in the U.S and has beaten the likes of Michael Wallisch, Nuri Seferi, Felix Cora Jr., Rodney Moore, Isiah Thomas, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, Lebedev and Dorticos.
The 39-year-old Balogun is a former NFL linebacker who has a perfect mark of 20-0 with 16 Ko’s and has boxed 51 rounds since making his pro debut in 2014. The rugged southpaw is 6-feet-1-inches tall with a reported 73-inch reach so will be giving up 2.5-inches in height and three inches in reach to Gassiev. He obviously has a lot of power in his punches as well as his current knockout ratio stands at 80 per cent.
Balogun hasn’t faced any contenders as of yet as his biggest wins have been against Grover Young, Danny Calhoun, Ed Fountain, Mike Bissett, Adnan Buharalija, Keith Barr and Sergio Marin. He also stopped the previously unbeaten Trey Lippe Morrison, the son of Tommy Morrison, in the first round in December, 2021.
There’s going to be a lot of power on display in the ring but Gassiev has plenty more pro experience and is 10 years younger than Balogun. However, Gassiev has looked a bit lethargic at times in the past . And hasn’t been very active over the past few years. Considering Gassiev’s age and experience I believe he’ll hand Balogun his first pro defeat but he needs to take his opponent’s power seriously.
Gassiev’s experience should be the difference.
Play: Gassiev -1500 @ BetOnline.ag
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