By Jake Donovan
Krzysztof Glowacki and Oleksandr Usyk both made weight ahead of their highly anticipated title clash, the latest in a continued series of thrilling bouts in the current state of the cruiserweight division.
Both came within the 200 lb. division limit; Glowacki tipped the scales at 199.3 lbs., while Usyk checked in at a shredded 198.75 lbs. for their headliner Saturday evening at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland.
Glowacki (26-0, 16KOs) will attempt the second defense of the cruiserweight title he annexed in thrilling – and violent fashion – with an 11th round knockout of Marco Huck last August. The Fight of the Year-level war saw both boxers hit the canvas, with Glowacki rallying to score a knockdown and stoppage, thus leaving Huck tied with Johnny Nelson for the most successful title defenses in boxing history.
The 30-year old southpaw retained his title with a 12-round win over Steve Cunningham this past April in Brooklyn, New York. Saturday’s bout will mark his first in his native Poland as a reigning champion.
Usyk (9-0, 9KOs) has been a knockout every time out since entering the pro ranks, but enters by far the toughest challenge of his young career. The unbeaten southpaw twice represented Ukraine in the Olympics, losing in the quarterfinals of the 2008 Beijing Games to Clemente Russo before avenging the loss in capturing Olympic gold four years later in London.
The 29-year old has been matched aggressively since his pro debut in Nov. ’13, with all 10 career opponents (including Glowacki) boasting at least twice as many fights. His lone setback, however, has been inactivity, having not fought since last December. He was due to take on a stay-busy bout in April, but was forced to withdraw due to injury.
With the mandated title fight versus Glowacki on the horizon, Usyk opted to sit on the sidelines in lieu of pursuing an interim bout.
The scheduled 12-round battle will air live via free and legal webcast on Klowd TV.