By Przemek Garczarczyk
Photo: Przemek Garczarczyk
Fightnews.com spoke with 32-year-old WBC light heavyweight champion Krzysztof “Diablo” Włodarczyk (48-2, 34 KOs), who in thrilling fashion defended his cruiserweight WBC title by knocking out former Olympic gold medalist, Rakhim Chakhkiev (16-1, 12 KO) last Friday in Moscow .
How would you rate this win in your professional career? Most important? Top three?
You cannot compare fights, all of them are different. Five or seven years ago I had to win to make my mark in world of boxing, so maybe those wins were more important? Or maybe this one in Australia, against Danny Green, when it was also interesting in the ring? I also remember well the Steve Cunningham fight, who – in my opinion – was reaching the peak of his career, beating people like Guillermo Jones. I love boxing, love to hit people in their mouths, cannot fathom not being a professional fighter.
The first three rounds in Moscow were all Chakhkiev, with you relaying only on your defensive and survival skills.
He hits hard, very hard. I could not give him an inch of space to hit, because it will be over – me on the ground not him. Maybe it was a boxing horror show in the first couple of rounds. But I’m some kind of SOB, who likes to play with people nerves, giving them thrills. And I love the Russian fans. They’re great. Chakhkiev was hitting me with full power, full strength of every punch. It works, if you end the fight quickly. If not, you’re in trouble because we are talking 12 rounds of professional boxing, not three amateur rounds. I can fight him again, no problem, maybe the second fight would even more interesting but this is not my call. It’s up to them and my promoters.
Your trainer Fiodor Łapin said in the post fight interview that after sixth or seven rounds, he was afraid that Chakhkiev’s punches cracked one of your ribs…
I never doubted myself, but I have admit that for a while I thought that this pain was more than just a normal fighting bruise. The s
ixth round was crucial – when I knocked him down, I knew that my destruction mode was in full status and also forgot all the pain. I had no doubt, none whatsoever, that I would win this fight by KO. I’m also happy to prove some people wrong, some of my so called boxing “colleagues” who were saying that if I just survive 12 rounds in Moscow, I can call it a success. There were also satisfying conversations – like when Tomek Adamek called to congratulate me. I thought he would be more critical about my performance, but he wasn’t. It was cool, but he’s all-class, knows how hard our work is because he went through tough fights himself.
What’s more important now: defending the title or doing the best fight available in cruiserweight division – against Marco Huck.
Of course Huck, but he has a problem – does not want to fight outside Germany. I fought all over the place – Germany, Italy, Australia, Russia, US. Anybody who suggests that I’m hiding at home is an idiot. Huck wants to fight? No problem, I can fight in Germany. But I’m not sure he’s the only guy I can fight; there are other fighters I would like to see across the ring.
Are you putting your idea of the heavyweight division on hold?
I will be testing my heavyweight skills – this is a given. But we are talking late 2014, not now.
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Diablo’s promoter, Andrzej Wasilewski from Ulrich Knockout Promotions, said it’s not sure if the Russian side will opt for a quick rematch. “In our carefully written contract, our side was protected with mandatory rematch clause, not Chakhkiev. We have no obligation to fight him again, but if an offer will be substantial, we will obviously look into it. Chakhkiev’s side has 30 days to make an offer but we are talking at least a four month break for Krzysztof. Fans shouldn’t forget that he already is in constant training, because of previous possibilities of fighting Jean Marc Mormeck. There are many options for Diablo, also the ones involving fighting in the States, with legends like Antonio Tarver or Bernard Hopkins if he decides to fight as a cruiserweight.”