Wlodarczyk vs. Chakhkiev: FOTY?

By Ted Sares on June 22, 2013
Wlodarczyk vs. Chakhkiev: FOTY?
This was Diablo’s seventh cruiserweight title defense and undoubtedly his most meaningful.

“His championship pedigree dates back to 2006 and he holds victories over Steve Cunningham, two wins over Francisco Palacios, Danny Green, and now a come-from-behind knockout over the unbeaten and favored Chakhkiev.”—Scott Levinson

In a blistering war and a classic case of changing momentum, Poland’s Krzysztof “Diablo” Wlodarczyk (48-2-1), the WBC cruiserweight champion, got off the floor to knock out unbeaten Rakhim “Machine” Chakhkiev (16-0 coming in) at the Dynamo Palace of Sports in Moscow Friday night.

Chakhkiev, a legendary Russian amateur, moved ahead quickly and decked Wlodarczyk in round three as the crowd chanted “Machine, Machine, Machine” for their hometown fighter. By round five he was potshotting Wlodarczyk as he continued punishing the Pole with body shots from close range and Diablo, who likes to fight from the outside, seemed destined for a clear and brutal loss. But then it happened. In round six the flow of the fight incredibly turned on a dime.

Diablo dropped and hurt Chakhkiev at the end round six with a short left hook. The Russian indicated he was not hurt, but the way he walked back to his corner said otherwise. A revived Diablo continued his comeback in round seven with another hard but wider left hook again decking the Russian. A visibly tiring and perhaps emotionally depleted Chakhkiev was beginning to wilt in plain sight in front of the stunned and disbelieving crowd. In round eight the champion smelled blood and turned up the heat. He floored the favored challenger twice before referee Daniel Van de Wiele called a halt to what had now turned into a reverse beatdown. The last knockdown was a vicious one that left no doubt whatsoever that the fight was over.

This was Diablo’s seventh cruiserweight title fight victory and undoubtedly his most meaningful as he now can stake a legitimate claim as the top cruiserweight in the world.

The Poles Bring Heat

There have been three action-packed fights in recent months involving a Polish fighter.

The first was when “Merciless” Mike Mollo (a Chicago favorite son) and Polish bad boy Artur “The Pin” Szpilka (a fan favorite in his native Poland as well as with the massive Polish community in Chicago) fought a blood and guts pier six on February 1of this year at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, one in which Mollo lost by KO but nevertheless came out a winner in the eyes of the fans for the grit he displayed during the fight.

The second was the brutal brawl between aging Andrew Golota (41-9-1) and aging Przemyslaw “Chemek” Saleta (43-7) when they put on a surprising brawl in front of over 14,000 rabid fans in ERGO Arena in Gdańsk, Poland on February 26, 2013. The fight resulted in both men going back into retirement, but they went back in honor. Both put forth a valiant effort with Golota’s being reminiscent of his all-out action fights with Kevin McBride and Mike Mollo. And to his credit, he went out on his shield. Golota has had a career full of ups and downs, but this loss was not one of the downs.

The Wlodarczyk-Chakhkiev might have been the best.

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Krzysztof Wlodarczyk vs Rakhim Chakhkiev 2013-06-21 Рахим Чахкиев - Кшиштоф Влодарчик 2013-06-21

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  1. Ted 06:26pm, 06/24/2013

    Yes indeed Tex. Poland is surging as a force in boxing. Very exciting fighters are coming out of there.

  2. Tex Hassler 06:21pm, 06/24/2013

    Poland has produced some good boxers and will continue to do so for years to come. Mr. Sare’s excellent article reminds us of that.

  3. Ted 11:29am, 06/23/2013

    Sebastian, polska duma.!

  4. Ted 11:25am, 06/23/2013

    Irish, I think you are on to it.

  5. Sebastian 08:44am, 06/23/2013

    Polish Pride.

  6. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:54am, 06/23/2013

    Ted Sares-I was high on Rakhim but in the back of my mind I was wondering why they were bringing an Olympic Gold Medalist along so slowly. Makes one wonder just how many times he got clocked and buzzed in sparring sessions that the boxing public never heard about.

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