Former IBF, WBA cruiserweight world champion Murat Gassiev of Russia will be ready to fight again in early 2021, according to his trainer Vitaly Slanov.
After more than two years of being inactive, Gassiev returned to the ring last month and knocked out Albanian Nuri Seferi in the first round.
The bout marked the debut of Gassiev in the heavyweight division.
“I think that in three months we will be ready for the next fight,” Slanov said to Tass.
The 27-year-old Gassiev has a record 27 wins (20 by knockout) and one defeat.
In 2016, he won the International Boxing Federation (IBF) cruiserweight belt by defeating compatriot Denis Lebedev, and then he defended his belt once. In 2018, Gassiev added the World Boxing Association (WBA) belt to the IBF title by defeating Yuniel Dorticos.
He lost both belts, also in 2018, when he dropped a lopsided twelve round decision to Oleksandr Usyk.
Gassiev was happy to get back in the ring to do the work, because the comeback almost didn’t happen after two opponents withdrew.
Initially, Gassiev’s opponents was supposed to be Kevin Johnson, but he refused the fight due to problems with his visa documents.
“I worked a lot, and if it weren’t for Seferi, there might not have been a fight at all. All the big work could have been for nothing just like that,” Gassiev said.
The General Secretary General of the Russian Boxing Federation, Umar Kremlev, expects Gassiev to return sooner than later.
“He is ready to return in the near future. Murat’s promoters will work on this,” said Kremlev.
In the United States, Gassiev is involved in a legal battle after attempting to part ways with Warriors Boxing.