By Ian S Palmer
Krzysztof Wlodarczyk of Poland will be taking on undefeated IBF World Cruiserweight Champion Murat Gassiev of Russia in this Saturday, October 21st at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The bout is a part of the World boxing Super Series and can be seen live in the U.S. On the audience Network. Fans in Canada can see it on Super Channel and those in the UK can catch it on Sky Box Office. Gassiev last fought in December when he beat Denis Lebedev for the title via a 12-round unanimous decision. Wlodarczyk is a former WBC and IBF Cruiserweight Champion who last fought in May and beat Noel Gevor by a 12-round split decision.
Wlodarczyk is now 36 years old and enters the contest with a fine record of 53-3-1 along with 37 Kos. Wlodarczyk was beaten by a fourth-round technical decision by Pavel Melkomyan in 2003 and again in 2007 when he was defeated by Steve Cunningham via a majority decision. However, he also beat Cunningham by a split decision. His last loss was a 12-round unanimous decision to Gregory Drozd in September of 2014. He took 2015 off, returned with three wins last year and has fought once in 2017 and has been beaten just once in his last 18 bouts.
Wlodarczyk has quite a bit of experience since turning pro back in 2000 as he’s faced the likes of Cunningham, Danny Green, Francisco Palacios, Valery Brudov, Imamu Mayfield and Giacobbe Fragomeni. However, he’s not really known by American boxing fans as he’s never fought outside of Europe. He has been dropped before, but has a great chin and hasn’t been stopped. Wlodarczyk stands six-feet-one-inch tall with a 75-inch reach. He’s boxed 356 rounds since turning pro and has pretty good power with a knockout ratio of 65 per cent.
The 23-year-old Gassiev has a perfect record of 24-0 along with 17 Kos. He turned pro back in 2011 and has fought 105 rounds since then. He’s also got good power in his fists as his current knockout ratio stands at 68 per cent. He also has a bit of a height advantage as he’s just over 6-feet-3-inches tall with a 76-inch reach, giving him an inch edge in that department too. North American fans may be a little more familiar with Gassiev as he’s fought a few times in the U.S and has faced boxers such as Felix Cora Jr., Rodney Moore and Isiah Thomas.
Gassiev has a big advantage when it comes to age as he’s 13 years younger than Wlodarczyk. He hasn’t faced the same level of opponents on a consistent basis as Wlodarczyk, but managed to surprise Lebedev late last year and has yet to taste defeat. Gassiev needs to let his hands go more often and he can’t stand around and be hit by counter shots. This is another good test for Gassiev and he should manage to retain his belt in a close contest.