By Przemek Garczarczyk
The undercard for the megafight between WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko from Ukraine (60-3, 51 KO) and undefeated WBA “regular” champion Alexander Povetkin (26-0, 18 KO) has been announced. The announcement was made by promoter Andrey Ryabinsky, CEO of investment/construction company “MIC” and vice-president of Russian Professional Boxing Federation.
14,000 fans in one of the largest sports-complexes in Moscow – the “Olimpiyskiy” Stadium – will see a European cruiserweight title fight between Poland’s Mateusz Masternak (30-0, 22 KOs) and Russian Grigory Drozd (36-1, 25 KOs), Olympic gold medalist Rakhim Chakhiev (16-1, 12 KOs) vs. Guilian Ilie (16-1, 12 KOs) and a heavyweight bout for the vacant WBA Continental belt between former world champion Ruslan Chagayev (31-2, 20 KOs) and Serbia’s Jovo Pudar (30-3, 17 KOs).
“I know that the whole boxing world will be watching Moscow on October 5, but I want to steal the show from Klitschko and Povetkin,” said the Polish EBU cruiserweight champion Masternak. “Everybody is talking about this mega fight, and not only Russians are considering Klitschko against Povetkin a fight of the century. This is biggest fight in my 12-year career, this will by my moment. I never fought anybody as strong as Grigory Drozd and never fought as a part of an event of this magnitude. All the most important personalities from the boxing world will be there. The stadium in Moscow will be filled with 14,000 fans, millions all over the world will be watching live on TV. This will be my moment to shine. I can fight now, I’m ready today. After a week of rest, I’ll have even more power and explosiveness. Drozd should be afraid.”
There’s also a lot in stake when #8 WBA Ruslan Chagaev will meet #7 WBA rated Jovo Pudar. Serbia’s Pudar has never been knocked out and since 2010 has won eight straight fights. According to Russian organizers, the winner of Chagaev-Pudar fight will be facing undefeated Miami-based Cuban southpaw #2 WBA Luis Ortiz (19-0, 16 KOs).
Talking about what he expects from the Klitschko-Povetkin clash, Chagaev said, “Povetkin should make this a war, not just a fight but of course it’s easier to say, than do. This fight could be about physical fitness, stamina. No matter what, I’m sure fans will see a very good, close fight” said Chaghaev who should know, since he fought, and lost to, both Klitschko and Povetkin.
There will be also another Olympic champion in the ring. Before fans in “Sportscomplex Olimpiysky” will have chance to cheer for Wladimir Klitschko (1996 Atlanta) and Alexander Povetkin (2004 Athens), they will see another Olympic gold medalist – Rakhim Chakhiev (2008 Beijing). Chakhiev suffered his only pro defeat in his last fight in Moscow last June against reigning WBC champion Krzysztof “Diablo” Włodarczyk and he would like to repay his loyal fans with an impressive win over Romania’s Giulian Ilie.