Despite the WBC mandating that their cruiserweight titlist Krzysztof Wlodarczyk face top-rated challenger Francisco Palacios in a rematch of their close first encounter in April, Wlodarczyk’s promoter Andrzej Wasilewski isn’t so sure the fight is worth rehashing.
“I don’t think that this fight will happen soon,” said Wasilewski of 12 rounds KnockOut Promotions, Wlodarczyk’s Poland-based promoter. “The biggest problem is that Wlodarczyk-Palacios I was one of the most boring fights that I have ever seen. Nobody really wants to see part two; There is no business in this fight at all.”
The first fight between the 30-year-old Wlodarczyk, 46-2-1 (33 KO), of Warsaw, Poland and the 34-year-old Palacios, 21-1 (13 KO), of Orlando, Fla., in Bydgoszcz, Poland was a tactical battle between two natural counterpunchers that ended in a split-decision victory for the Polish fighter. Palacios supporters argue that Palacios deserved the decision based on his overall activity advantage, while Wlodarczyk’s case stems from landing the cleaner, heavier blows.
The WBC panel voted unanimously to name Palacios the mandatory challenger at their convention in Las Vegas earlier this month, siding with Palacios’ promoter Don King for an immediate rematch over Wlodarczyk’s American co-promoter Leon Margulis’ plea for an optional defense.
When reached for comment, Palacios asserted that Team Wlodarczyk’s hesitance to stage the rematch had less to do with the aesthetically displeasing nature of the first bout and more to do with reluctance to deal with Palacios’ difficult challenge.
“The first time I didn’t show 100 [ercent of what I do but I still beat him,” said Palacios. “Even though I was just throwing one-two combos, I still won ten rounds in everyone’s eyes. That’s why I got the rematch. They know they lost, that’s why they don’t want to fight me again.”
Since their first meeting Wlodarczyk has survived an accidental pill overdose to knock out Roy Jones-conqueror Danny Green in Australia last month, while Palacios also stayed busy last month with a shutout decision victory over The Contender alum Joell Godfrey in an eight-round fight.
Should Wlodarczyk opt not to face Palacios, he risks being stripped of his title, which he won last year with a TKO victory over Italian Giacobbe Fragomeni. Wasilewski says that a decision on their next move will be made within the next 3-4 weeks.
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to GMA News and the Filipino Reporter newspaper in New York City. He is also a member of The Ring ratings panel. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia