The promoter of WBC cruiserweight titleholder Krzysztof Włodarczyk says that the drive that first brought “Diablo” title success is waning as he heads into a rematch with Francisco Palacios on Sept. 22 in Wroclaw, Poland.
“We have a problem with Wlodarczyk’s motivation,” Andrzej Wasilewski, president of the Poland-based company 12 Round Knockout Promotions, tells THE RING. “He is a great fighter but he is not hungry at all since 2006 and 2007. That’s our problem.”
Wlodarczyk (46-2-1, 33 knockouts), of Warsaw, Poland, is currently preparing for the fourth defense of the belt he won via an eighth-round technical knockout of Italian Giacobbe Fragomeni in 2010. The Wlodarczyk-Palacios rematch will take place at the 12,000-capacity Hala Stulecia, and will be televised live domestically by Polsat.
Włodarczyk’s split decision victory over Palacios (21-1, 13 KOs) of Orlando, Fla. last April was derided by some pundits as controversial, as a listless Włodarczyk was largely ineffective in pressuring the mobile Palacios. Palacios did little to help his own cause by not taking advantage of Wlodarczyk’s inactivity, however.
“After 17 years of boxing it looks he is fed up of boxing, but maybe I’m wrong,” said Wasilewski of Wlodarczyk, who is rated no. 2 by THE RING at cruiserweight. “He trains very serious but the fight doesn’t give him satisfaction any more and money matters are not so important for him because he is a very modest person.
“He looks great, but I do not see in his eyes what I want. We will see; I hope I’m wrong.”
Palacios meanwhile says that this training camp in Orlando has been “the best I ever had”, and that he leaves for Poland this Thursday, giving him nine days to adjust to his surroundings.
“I hope he comes ready to fight, not to cover up like he did last time,” said Palacios, the mandatory challenger for Wlodarczyk’s belt. “And I hope he has no excuses that he was hurt and had no time to prepare correctly because I’m ready for war.”
Wlodarczyk, 30, rebounded last November with an 11th-round TKO over Australian Danny Green, while Palacios, 35, kept busy with an eight-round shutout of former The Contender participant Joell Godfrey that same month.
Meanwhile, another of Wasilewski’s cruiserweights Pawel Kolodziej (30-0, 17 KOs), is hoping to get a breakout fight of his own. The 31-year-old Kolodziej, of Krynica Zdroj, Poland, recently broke into THE RING’s cruiserweight rankings, entering at no. 10 following the departure of Steve Cunningham to heavyweight this weekend.
Wasilewski said that discussions to match Kolodziej with WBO cruiserweight titleholder RING-rated no. 1 contender Marco Huck were fruitless. Huck will instead face former titleholder Firat Arslan on Nov. 3 in Russia.
“Kolodziej is ready for the biggest fights but due to his size (Kolodziej stand 6-foot-4) and very difficult style for opponents, it is difficult to find for him opponents,” said Wasilewski.
Wasilewski said that if no other options open up, he will try to match Kolodziej with Garrett Wilson (13-5-1, 7 KOs), of Philadelphia, Penn., in an IBF elimination bout.
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to GMA News. He is also a member of The Ring ratings panel and 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.
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