There is a slugfest on tap in the cruiserweight division on Friday night.
Krzysztof "Diablo" Wlodarczyk (47-2-1, 33 KO) of Poland will defend his WBC cruiserweight title against the undefeated Rakhim "The Machine" Chakhkiev (16-0, 12 KO) in the challenger's home country at the Dynamo Palace of Sports in Krylatskoye, Moscow, Russia.
This is Wlodarczyk's fifth defense of his title, and the fact that he is traveling to the challenger's country to fight is noteworthy. This should be an exciting battle.
Though the bout is only televised in Poland for the public, here is the information for viewing the fight and a deeper look at the matchup.
The Book on Wlodarczyk
This isn't the first time Diablo has taken to the road in a title fight. The first time he fought for the WBC title, he took on Italian Giacobbe Fragomeni in his home country in 2009.
The result was a draw, though Wlodarczyk would later defeat Fragomeni in Poland to win the title in 2010. Wlodarczyk's third defense was against Aussie Danny Green in Western Australia.
To this point, Wlodarczyk hasn't lost any of his championship road ventures. He'll be looking to remain undefeated away from Poland in championship bouts on Friday.
In the Ring
Diablo is a boxer-puncher who throws a pushing but stiff jab to set up the strong right hand. He also has a sneaky left hook that can do damage. You'll see evidence of this in his KO win over Green in the video below.
Though Wlodarczyk isn't blessed with great quickness, he's strong and physical on the inside. He excels at in-fighting and has a solid chin.
Defeating him would be a tall task for any 175-200 pound fighter in the world.
The Book on Chakhkiev
On the Fast Track
The Machine has had only 16 bouts in his career, but he's 30 years old. Because of his age, it makes sense for him to take on an established champion like Wlodarczyk relatively early in his professional career.
Needless to say, Chakhkiev is really raising the bar with this matchup as it compares to his previous fights. Only five of his 16 bouts have been scheduled for 10 rounds, and Friday's clash will be his first fight set for 12.
Chakhkiev will have a lot to get acclimated to in the ring, but such is the plight of an inexperienced 30-year-old contender.
In the Ring
Chakhkiev's power is easy to see. He throws heavy shots with bad intentions, as he comes in looking to finish his opponents with power punches straight down the middle of their guard.
Take a look at him in this KO win over Zack Page in May 2012.
One potentially perilous habit Chakhkiev has is the tendency to drop his right hand when he's still in punching range for his opponent.
Who wins this fight and how?
It is quite possible that he hasn't faced an opponent with the quickness or training to take advantage of that deficiency; but if he hasn't cleaned that up, it could spell trouble for him against Wlodarczyk.
This should be an exciting fight filled with good offense, but Wlodarczyk's experience and power on the inside gives him an edge. The jab and lead left hooks should be the key punches in what I predict will be a fifth-round KO win for Diablo.
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