By Przemek Garczarczyk
Photo: Przemek Garczarczyk
According to many respectable sources, WBC #1 cruiserweight Francisco “The Wizard” Palacios (21-1, 13 KO), who will have his long awaited rematch with former IBF and current WBC world champion Krzysztof “Diablo” Włodarczyk (46-2, 33 KO) on September 22 in Wrocław, Poland. Włodarczyk retained his title by split decision over Palacios in April of 2011 and this time “The Wizard” says there will be no doubt who the winner is. “I have family now,” he told Fightnews.com in an exclusive interview. “I need to provide for them and beating Włodarczyk convincingly. Getting the WBC title is a must. It could be my last chance. I realize that – it will be a massacre one way or another.”
You have more fans in the U.S. or in Poland?
Forget the U.S. – I have more fans in Poland than in my beloved Puerto Rico.
Do you like Diablo Włodarczyk?
I respect Diablo as a fighter. Let’s leave it at that.
Because he didn’t kept his word. After our first controversial fight, he promised me a quick rematch. It was 15 months ago. This is why.
If I would tell you that your life outside the ring has as much craziness as his, has so many similar ups and downs, what would you say?
I will tell you that he’s my twin. I know, it’s unbelievable how similar our life outside the ropes is and how different fighters we are.
Do you need a special motivation to give 100 percent in the ring? Be angry?
It’s not true. I’m never angry or hate my opponents.
Is Diablo an exception?
It’s not him. It’s the whole situation, this whole mess waiting for my rematch.
Looks like that you will have chance to get his revenge on September 22 in Wroclaw, Poland. Was there a moment that you thought it will never happen?
Yes, couple of times. First, just after the first fight, when Włodarczyk team was doing everything not to even bring the topic. For the second time, couple of months ago, when Diablo’s name was linked with bunch of fights – but not with me. It was tough to stay in training, but I never stopped.
Can you guarantee that rematch will be better than a first fight? More exciting?
Yes, I can guarantee that. I have family now, I need to provide for them and beating Włodarczyk convincingly, getting WBC title is a must. It could be my last chance. I realize that.
You have to knock him out to win?
I want to. It will end all of these speculations after the first fight. It will be a message for all those people who did not see that Włodarczyk got a gift first time.
He’s saying the same words.
Good. Let’s see if he can walk and talk at the same time. I doubt it, but it will be a massacre one way or another.
After the first fight, last April, you had a big problem with judges giving Diablo a split decision. Will you do the same if after 12 rounds in September, belt will remain in Poland?
It’s impossible – how they will be able to do this after I will win every round?
You are so sure about it because…
…everything I do in the ring, I do better than Diablo. I’m also not a fake cruiserweight like his last “big” win Danny Green and I will not lose all my stamina in the last three rounds. Enough?
You love Poland, but you also are afraid that there will be “stuff” that you cannot control.
Afraid is a wrong word, because I’m never afraid of anything. It’s just that some stuff will be out of my control and I don’t like that.
No more Mr Nice Guy?
Yep, no more. I love Polish fans, they know it, but I’m on the mission, I have to keep my promise I made standing next to my brother’s grave. Anyway, after Włodarczyk will lose his WBC title, Poles will still have their champion.
Because when I will defend my title, I will always step into ring with two national flags – Puerto Rico and Poland. It was not a coincidence that before my first fight in Bydgoszcz, I was walking with Pope John Paul II picture in hands. Poland is my second home now.