Dimitrenko vs. Krasniqi, Boytsov-Maddalone, Sartison-Guedes On Saturday
By Erik Schmidt: In a stay busy fight, undefeated heavyweight contender Alexander Dimitrenko (28-0, 18 KOs) will go up against hard-hitting Luan Krasniqi (30-3-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round bout at the Burg-Waechter Castello, in Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.
Dimitrenko, 26, is currently ranked #1 in the World Boxing Organization (WBO), #3 in the IBF, WBA and WBC, and poised for a title shot against IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko possibly in 2009. Trained by legendary German trainer Fritz Sdunek, the 6’7” 250 pound Dmitrenko is one of the top contenders in the heavyweight division, with athletic skills on par with Wladimir early in his career.
Formerly from Ukraine, Dimitrenko has so far been matched fairly softly, taking on few real threats up until now. In fact, the best names on Dimitrenko’s resume at this point in his career is Ross Puritty, who previously stopped Wladimir in a 11th round TKO in 1998, and Timo Hoffmann. Unfortunately, Dimitrenko had huge problems with the 6’7” Hoffmann, who attacked Dimitrenko hard from the outset, hitting him with powerful jabs, backing him up and staying on top of the Ukrainian.
In the 5th round, Hoffmann shockingly dropped Dimitrenko with a hard left hand to the head. For the remainder of the round, Hoffmann teed off on Dimitrenko with huge power shots, trying hard to finish him off. However, Dimitrenko showed a good chin and lasted out the round despite taking a lot of punishment. In rounds six and seven, Hoffmann continued battering Dimitrenko around the ring with power shots.
Dimitrenko rallied in round eight, and for the next four rounds, Dimitrenko landed frequently with power shots and in the 12th round, he dropped Hoffmann with a hard right hand followed by two left hands. After Hoffmann got up, Dimitrenko battered him around the ring with power shots to the head, causing the referee to step in the ring and halt the bout.
It wasn’t exactly the best showing for Dimitrenko, but in fairness to him, he was fighting a huge opponent in Hoffmann, and probably wasn’t prepared to take on a fighter his size. In facing Krasniqi on Saturday night, Dimitrenko will be once again facing a large heavyweight with power. However, Krasniqi, 37, has been inactive since being stopped in the 5th round by Tony Thompson in July 2007, and it remains to be seen how much Krasniqi has left at this late stage of his career.
On the undercard, top super middleweight contender Dimitri Sartison (22-1, 14 KOs) goes up against Brazilian Edison Francisco Guedes (11-7-1, 5 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round bout. Sartison, ranked #6 in the World Boxing Association (WBA), is coming off of a 12th round TKO loss to Mikkel Kessler in June for the vacant WBA super middleweight title. Sartison, 28, gave a good account of himself for the first eight rounds of the fight, hitting Kessler frequently with hard right hands and hooks to the head.
However, after the 8th round, Sartison faded badly and was pummeled in the remaining four rounds. In the 12th, Sartison, now badly exhausted, took a lot of shots from Kessler and was dropped to the canvas. The fight was stopped after the knockdown and Sartison was rushed to the hospital for observation. Hopefully, with a win over Guedes, Sartison can get back into the thick of things and take on a better fighter, someone like Jean Pascal.
Also on the card is heavyweight contender Denis Boytsov (22-0, 18 KOs), who will be facing Vinny Maddalone (31-4, 22 KOs). Boytsov, 22, ranked #9 in the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and #12 in the WBA, is making a significant leap up in competition in facing the 34 year-old Maddalone. Boytsov, originally from Russia and now living in Germany, has faced thus far mostly C-class fighters in Germany.
However, in facing Maddalone, Boytsov is facing a good fighter with power aggression. Boytsov is small for a heavyweight, only 6’1”, and depends largely on his fast hand speed. However, he needs to work on his head movement and the use of feints, because he’s very robotic at times and is easy to hit for the most part.