Wlodarczyk Knocks Out Chakhkiev!!!
In Moscow on Friday, WBC Cruiserweight Champion Krzysztof Woldarczyk rose from the canvas to knock out well-favored challenger--the unbeaten Gold Medalist Rakhim Chakhkiev, now 16-1 (12 KOs). With his 7th cruiserweight title fight victory, Wlodarczyk moves to a glossy 48-2-1 with 34 KOs. It was a blistering encounter. Many fight observers from that part of the world forecasted an easy win for the former gold medal winner and domestically-grown product Chakhkiev. While respected, Wlodarczyk was considered the less talented and perhaps more battle-worn of the two fighters. Chakhkiev, despite only being a year younger at 30, was considered the best prospect at the weight. It looked like he would make good at that, as Chahkkiev, 196.25, dominated the early going, sending Wlodarczyk, 198.75, to the canvas in round three. In the ensuing few rounds, Wlodarczyk steadfastly absorbed punishment, but looked to be on his way to a clear loss.
Shockingly, in round 6, things turned on a dime, as the champion caught Chakhkiev with a left hook, dropping him at the end of the round. The beltholder's momentum continued in round 7, as he tagged Chakhkiev with another left, again dropping him. Round eight was all Wlodarczyk, as he twice felled the suddenly-dilapidated challenger two more times to earn the stoppage.
Say what you will about Wlodarczyk, a somewhat obscure figure in the west with a near-impossible name to write or pronounce, but the Polish standout is building up a nice resume. 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. He certainly has a fair claim as the world's finest cruiserweight, despite most deferring to Yoan Hernandez. In any event, many keep predicting the end of Wlodarczyk's reign and he keeps fooling people. However he fares from here, the Chakhkiev win is a big accomplishment in his career and his most glorious win to date.