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Boxing: Usyk wins to unify cruiserweight titles

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk unified the cruiserweight division by beating Russian Murat Gassiev by unanimous decision on Saturday.

Despite facing a hostile crowd, Usyk controlled the fight with his jab to add Gassiev’s World Boxing Assn. and International Boxing Federation titles to his own World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization belts.

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Gassiev landed some heavy body shots when he got inside Usyk’s reach, but started to tire and the Ukrainian was utterly dominant in the later rounds as Gassiev swung haymakers.

Usyk, a former Olympic gold medalist, holds all four major titles after only 15 professional fights, all wins.

“Moscow, 2018. Bang! Daddy’s in the building,” Usyk said.

Usyk added he could move up to heavyweight to fight the experienced British fighter Tony Bellow.

“If he doesn’t want to drop down, I’ll happily go up to meet him,” Usyk said. “I’ll just eat extra pasta.”

“I had the best opponent in my professional career,” said Gassiev (26-1).

On the undercard, Cecilia Braekhus (34-0) remained the undisputed women’s welterweight champion after beating Russian Inna Sagaydakovskaya by unanimous decision.

Munguia, Machado defend titles

Jaime Munguia won a unanimous decision over Liam Smith, 116-111, 119-110, 119-108 in Las Vegas to retain his junior middleweight title. Alberto Machado defended his super featherweight title with a unanimous decision over Rafael Mensah, with three scores of 120-107.

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