By Marcus Richardson: This Friday night the hard hitting WBC Baltic cruiserweight champion Rakhim Chakhkiev (14-0, 11 KO’s) faces replacement opponent Epifanio Mendoza (34-14-1, 30 KO’s) in a fight at the at the Sporthalle, Wandsbek, Hamburg, Germany. Chakhkiev will need to make some slight adjustments for this fight as his originally scheduled opponent Alejandro Valori came up with an injury during training making it necessary for him to back out of the fight. Mendoza, 36, should make it interesting for as long as the fight lasts, which probably won’t be too long.
Chakhkiev is quickly making a name for himself in the cruiserweight division since turning pro in 2009 after capturing a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics while competing as a heavyweight.
Mendoza has lost 10 out of his last 16 fights with five of the losses coming by knockout. Mendoza has been beaten by the best at super middleweight to heavyweight. Mendoza started his career out as a super middleweight in 1990, and has steadily moved up in weight to where he now is fighting at cruiserweight. At super middleweight, Mendoza wasn’t half bad but at cruiserweight he simply doesn’t have the size to beat the better fighters in this division and will be way out of his class against the powerful Chakhkiev.
In perhaps a more interesting fight on this card, unbeaten heavyweight Denis Boytsov will face the always tough Konstantin Airich. This fight promises to be a little more exciting than the Chakhkiev vs. Mendoza mismatch. Airich has the size and the power to give Boytsov some problems for at least four to five rounds before he eventually fades and is knocked out. The Chakhkiev, #5 WBC, #13 IBF, #13 WBO, #14 WBA, just looks like a mismatch due to Chakhkiev’s better power and skills.
Here are some of the undercard fights. The card, as you can see, is still a work in progress.
Ismail Oezen vs. Fiodar Pugachou
Ina Menzer vs. Loli Munoz
Sebastian Real vs. Yavuz Keles
Vitali Tajbert vs. TBA