Bethlehem, PA: On March 15th in front of a sold out house at Sands Casino and Hotel, Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba will take on Denis “The Pirate/Drago’s Son” Grachev in the light heavyweight co-feature on NBCSN Fight Night. The light heavyweight division is one of the hottest divisions right now with world class fighters like Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, Adonis Stevenson and Bernard Hopkins and the winner of this fight could be poised to face any one of them. Currently, Chilemba is ranked #2 in the WBC and Grachev is ranked #7 in the WBC.
Chilemba’s trainer, former IBF Light Middleweight and WBC Welterweight Champion Buddy McGirt, wouldn’t make a prediction but said, “If Isaac does what I know he can do he can do, which is frustrate the hell out of this guy and out box him, this fight should be a walk in the park. It is all up to him come fight night.”
Grachev’s manager/trainer, Baruch Ferreira, said, “We have had our best training camp so far. Denis is looking sharp and he is in amazing shape. He is ready to make an exciting fight against Chilemba on Fight Night.”
21-2-2, 9 KOs
13-2-1, 8 KOs
Chilemba is very poised in the ring and maintains his composure, even when he’s behind. He also has a solid defense.
Grachev has good power and the will to win. According to Main Events’ matchmaker Jolene Mizzone, “He can starch an opponent with one punch.”
Chilemba has mediocre punching power and his accuracy is average.
Grachev has poor footwork and lacks amateur experience.
Despite being five years younger, Chilemba has nine more professional fights (25 vs. 16) than Grachev. Chilemba boxed 183 rounds compared to 80 rounds for Grachev.
Grachev’s last four opponents had a combined record of 103-1 and all were either contenders or former or current champions. Grachev’s endurance has not been tested yet.
Chilemba has a pretty good chin; he has been down and gotten back up. According to Mizzone, “Chilemba fights better when his back is up against the wall.”
Grachev was only down once against Sillakh and came back to win but later was knocked out by Edwin Rodriguez in the first round.
Chilemba is more of a boxer and is better defensively.
Grachev is more of a defensive fighter and has one-punch power.
Chilemba agreed to fight a game underdog and that cannot be overlooked.
Grachev did not think twice before taking the fight – confident.
Will Chilemba be able to stand up to Grachev’s power?
Is Grachev the same fighter after his TKO loss to Edwin Rodriguez?
Will Chilemba fold under the bright lights?
Can Grachev redeem himself?
After getting blown away by Rodriguez, Grachev needs to prove it was just a fluke and that he has what it takes to compete at this level. If Chilemba loses to Grachev, he’ll lose his #2 spot. Bottom line: neither fighter can afford to lose.