Time: 11:00AM ET / 8:00AM PT
WBC cruiserweight title
Krzysztof Wlodarczyk 47(33)-2-1 vs. Rakhim Chakhkiev 16(12)-0
This will be Wlodarczyk’s 6th defense of his WBC title — and perhaps his sturdiest test since his draw with Giacobbe Fragomeni.
Wlodarczyk should be considered one of the world’s top cruiserweights. His recent defeat of Danny Green highlights how high up on the food chain Wlodarczyk really is. He decimated Green, stopping him in Round 11.
There’s a number of other great wins under Wlodarczyk’s belt: victories over Francisco Palacios (twice), James Robinson, Fragomeni (rematch), and Steve Cunningham — though Wlodarzcyk lost the rematch.
Chakhiev is an up-and-comer who’s looking to hang with the best. He’s a heavy-handed puncher with a 75% KO ratio. Balanced with this is a good amateur background that keeps him well-rounded. Chakhiev has recent wins over Andres Taylor, Epifanio Mendoza, Jaidon Codrington, and Alex Mogylewski.
During 2012, Chakhiev fought 5 times. In fact, seeing how he hasn’t fought since last November, this will be his longest lay-off. It remains to be seen how Chakhiev will deal with the inactivity.
Still, Chakhiev is sharp. While Wlodarczyk is amongst the best of the cruiserweights, he’s often struggled at the top level. If Chakhiev is hungry enough, he could win this.
Prediction: Chakhiev by UD.