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Glowacki vs. Usyk this Saturday in Poland


By Eric Baldwin: This Saturday night, undefeated World Boxing Organization cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki (26-0, 16 KOs) could be making the toughest fight of his career against unbeaten #1 WBO Oleksandr Usyk (9-0, 9 KOs) on September 17 at the Ergo Arena, Gdansk, Poland.

This will be Glowaski’s second defense of his WBO title after he recently defeated 40-year-old former IBF cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham by a 12 round unanimous decision last April at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Glowacki, 30, figures to have a tougher time against the 6’3” southpaw Usyk, because he’s a much different fighter than anyone he’s ever faced before at the pro level, and he’s got the punching power to fight on even terms.

Glowacki won the WBO title last year in August in defeating WBO champion Marco Huck by an 11th round knockout. Huck struggled early on with Glowacki’s southpaw stance and big punching power. However, he dropped the Polish fighter in the 6th and appeared to be in control of the fight in the 2nd half up until the 11th. The fight was lost for Huck in that round, as Glowacki knocked him down twice in the 11th with big left hands to the head. It was a case of Huck getting sloppy and paying for it.

Usyk is a much different fighter than Huck, as he’s more disciplined and with better boxing skills. Usyk has top notch punching power that could be a real problem for Glowacki if he’s unable to score a knockdown in this fight.

If Glowacki’s power doesn’t bail him out in this fight like it did against Huck, he’ll likely end up getting out-boxed and beaten. That would be bad news for his career, but it wouldn’t be the end for Glowacki. He’s a good enough fighter to target the other cruiserweight champions – Tony Bellew, Denis Lebedev and Beibut Shumenov – and beat one of them to become a champion again.

Usyk is just a bad match-up for Glowacki, because he hits just as hard if not harder, and he’s got the better height, reach and boxing skills. The only thing that Usyuk doesn’t have going for him in this fight is the home country advantage. The fight will be taking place in Poland, and that favors Glowacki, who will have his fans firmly on his side.

Whether or not Glowacki can take advantage of the support that he gets from his fans is debatable. Usyk was a very good amateur and he’s used to traveling and fighting in his opponents’ hometowns. Glowacki might not be able to depend on winning the fight based on the support he gets from the boxing fans. He may need to score a knockout for him to win the contest. That’s going to be hard because Usyk, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine, has not shown to have a weak chin during his professional and amateur career. He’s also not easy to hit with the left hand shots that Glowacki likes to land.

Glowacki has been able to use his left hand power shots to give problems to guys like Cunningham and Huck. However, those were fighters that fought out of the orthodox stance, and they weren’t ready to deal with Glowacki’s southpaw style. Usyk is a southpaw and he’s comfortable fighting other southpaws. So the shots that Glowacki has become accustomed to landing in his fights, he might not have any luck landing against Usyk on Saturday.

If there’s any area where you can criticize the 29-year-old Usyk in this fight against Glowacki it’s his lack of experience at the pro level. Usyk has been a pro for just three years since coming out of the amateur ranks in 2013.

Thus far, Usyk has fought only nine times in beating this group of fighters: Pedro Rodriguez, Johnny Muller, Andrey Knyazev, Danie Venter, Daniel Bruwer, Cesar David Crenz, Ben Nsafoah, Epfanio Mendoza and Felipe Romero. Muller was arguably the best of the bunch and he lasted only three rounds against Usyk. There haven’t been many top guys that Usyk has mixed I up against since turning pro, so it’s difficult to know how he’ll do against a hard puncher like Glowacki.

All we can do is speculate based on what Usyk did in the amateur ranks in beating the likes of Artur Beterbiev, Tervel Pulev, Clemente Russo, and Stephen Simmons. Usyk twice beat Beterbiev in the amateur ranks. In the 2012/2013 World Series of Boxing, Usyk beat the likes of Joseph Joyce from the UK and former Anthony Joshua conqueror Mihai Nistor.

Usyk has the boxing skills to hand Glowacki his first loss of his career. However, with the fight taking place in Poland, Usyk might need a knockout for him to get the victory, because he’s going to have the crowd against him from start to finish. Glowacki is one of those fighters who are at his best when he’s being given a lot of support from the fans.

Usyk will need to be mentally strong to out-think Glowacki and take advantage of his aggressiveness, because he might not be thinking too clearly inside the ring on Saturday night if the Polish crowd gets him too excited.

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