In what will almost certainly be the most interesting and exciting cruiserweight world title fight of 2016, and possibly a FOTY candidate, period, WBO ruler Krzysztof Glowacki will meet mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk in the champion’s homeland of Poland on September 17th, ESPN.com reports. An absolutely fascinating, can’t-miss fight between two powerful and talented unbeaten fighters, Glowacki-Usyk is as close to a 50-50 fight as you could mention.
For although Uysk – a superb amateur standout, his capturing an Olympic gold for his country of Ukraine in 2012 being the highlight – has had just nine pro fights (winning all 9 by stoppage), he is a proven operator who always wanted to be moved swiftly through the pro ranks. Usyk wants to beat the great Evander Holyfield’s record of becoming the man with the quickest ascension to a world cruiserweight title (Holyfield did it in his 12th pro bout, beating the legendarily tough Dwight Muhammad Qawi in a unforgettable 15-round war in 1986) and though he could have fought an “easier” champion than Glowacki in his attempt, many good judges feel 29-year-old Usyk will win the all-southpaw battle.
Glowacki, the same age as his challenger and 26-0(16) will be making the second defence of the belt he won in thrilling fashion by beating Marco Huck, and the tough Pole has not had anything resembling an easy reign. The Huck fight was amazing and both men took plenty of hurt, and Glowacki then had to defend against the classy Steve Cunningham. Now, against Usyk, Glowacki will likely have to dig deep once again to win.
Usyk doesn’t have the champion’s pro experience – not yet having gone past the ninth-round – but he has arguably better overall skills than Glowacki and he has that great amateur background (not that Glowacki was any slouch in the unpaid ranks). This one could be a fire fight or it could be a chess match; maybe a bit of both. Glowacki will enjoy hometown advantage but will it matter? If Usyk has no problems going through those late, championship rounds, he could win this on points. But Glowacki is never a fighter to bet against winning.
Credit to both men for taking this, potentially one of the best cruiserweight battles in a few years (well, since Glowacki fought Huck!)