As per a message on X (formerly twitter) from Mike Coppinger, unbeaten heavyweight contenders Frank Sanchez of Cuba and Agit Kabayel of Germany have been ordered by the WBC to fight a final elimination bout. As Coppinger points out in his message, Sanchez is the #2 ranked heavyweight contender with the WBC while Kabayel is the #4 ranked contender.
It is to be hoped this fight happens, as interesting as it is.
31 year old Sanchez, 24-0(17) looked pretty good in stopping Junior Fa on the December 23rd “Day of Reckoning” card in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. While on the same card, Kabayel, also 31, and also 24-0 but with 16 KO’s to his name, upset unbeaten Russian puncher Arslanbek Makhmudov in style.
Sanchez has said numerous times that he believes he is one of the avoided heavyweights, that he would beat the likes of Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua if given the chance. Kabayel said after ripping away Makhmudov’s unbeaten record how he wants a bigger fight next. Now, if both teams agree to fight, Sanchez Vs. Kabayel will see the winner elevated even higher in both the rankings and in the minds of the world’s fight fans.
This is a solid match up, with a good, strong case able to be made for either man getting the win. Sanchez is slick, while he showed in the Fa fight that he can crack when the mood suits him. Kabayel showed fine body punching ability in the Makhmudov fight, while the man from Bochum has been in a wild fight and he came though, this his slugfest with Agron Smakici from March of last year (a fight well worth checking out on YouTube if you haven’t seen it). Kabayel also holds a good win over Derek Chisora.
Again, a solid match up and a tough fight to pick.
The current heavyweight division is arguably as interesting as it has been in some time, what with the big one between Fury and Oleksandr Usyk just days away, and with a bunch of good, hungry contenders each picking up notable wins recently (Sanchez, Kabayel, Daniel Dubois, who stopped Jarrell Miller, to name a few).
Who wins if Kabayel and Sanchez get it on later this year?