Who is 27-0 Heavyweight Andrzej Wawrzyk, WBA Wild Card Title Challenger?
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Correspondent
Who is 27-0 Heavyweight Andrzej Wawrzyk of Krakow, Poland, the World Boxing Association’s Wild Card World Title Challenger? The WBA International Heavyweight titleholder, Wawrzyk (27-0, 13 knockouts) will fight for the first time outside his native Poland when he challenges Alexander Povetkin for the WBA World Heavyweight title on May 17, 2013, at Crocus City Hall, Myakinino, Russia.
For sure, Wawrzyk’s obscure rise to the top parallels that of Zeljko Mavrovic of Zagreb, Croatia, who was 27-0 when fought Lennox Lewis for the World Boxing Council World Heavyweight title at Mohegan sun Casino in Connecticut in September 1998, lost a 12 round decision, and never fought again.
Poland has a reputation for bring heavyweight prospects up in a good way inside Poland, building up winning records and ability en route to world title contention.
Marius Wach reached 27-0 before losing a 12 round decision to Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg, Germany in 2012. Artur Szpilka is now 14-0 after stopped Tara Bidenko on a right leg injury on his stool (shades of Vitali Klitschko versus Odlanier Solis) in Poland on April 14, 2013. Albert Sosnowski, 47-6-2, was knocked out in the tenth round of his WBC world challenge against Vitali Klitschko in Germany in May 2010, and was most recently seen in the London Prizefighter tournament in February 2013.
We all remember Andrew Golota for his two disqualification losses to Riddick Bowe, and his unsuccessful bid for the world heavyweight title against Lennox Lewis. Tomasz Adamek, one of boxing’s most consistent fighters by technique, moved up from cruiserweight to heavyweight and was unsuccessful in his bid for the world heavyweight title in Poland against Vitali Klitschko. Other unbeaten rising Polish heavyweight prospects include Tomasz Hutkowski (21-0-2), Krzysztof Zimnoch (14-0-1), Marcin Rekowski (8-0), Marcin Siwy (5-0), Damian Dardas (3-0), Marcin Brzeski (2-0), and Jacek Chruslicki (1-0).
Wawrzyk is 6’5″ and 233 pounds, just the right size to complete against Povetkin, and the aging Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko if he has the talent and ability. The big question is does he? Wawrzyk has beat Robert Hawkins (WIn 6), Denis Bakhtov (Win 10), Taras Bidenko (TKO 2), Claus Bertino (Win 10, who Audley Harrison subsequently kayoed in 33 seconds), Devin Vargas (TKO 9), and 11-0-1 Nelson Dominguez (KO 2). Wawrczyk goes into the title bout with Povetkin as essentially untested commodity at the heavyweight ‘A’ level. Wawrzyk seemed to win most rounds on technical skill in his ten round bout with Bakhtov in June 2012.
Wawrzyk versus Bakhtov YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHPieriS1eo
The key to understanding Wawrzyk is he is not a heavy hitter. He went ten rounds with Bertino, who Audley Harrison knocked out on one), and he went ten rounds with Tomasz Bonin in 2008, who David Haye kayoed in one. He went eight rounds with Harvey Jolly, who Eric Fields kayoed in three. He went eight rounds with Ivica Perkovic, who Francesco Pianeta kayoed in three. He went eight rounds with Paul Butlin, who Albert Sosnowski kayoed in one round. He went eight rounds with Lee Swaby, who Tom Dallas kayoed in one round. he went ten rounds with Oleksiy Makikin, who Juan Carlos Gomez kayoed in three rounds. He went ten rounds with Alexander Selezens, who Tyson Fury kayoed in three rounds.
Wawarzyk has technical boxing skills and 147 rounds of experience since he turned pro in 2006. Povetkin has 144 rounds of experience since turning pro in 2005. Althouh Povetkin is slightly shorter than Wawrzyk, Povetkin amply proved in his bout with Marco Huck he is a vicious hitter, and with knockouts over the likes of Hasim Rahman and Cedric Boswell, he remains a dangerous force in the heavyweight division.
Look for Povetkin to stop Wawrzyk is rounds eight through 11, or Povetkin by a strong unanimous decision WIn1 2 if this WBA title bout goes the distance. Wawrzyk requires some big wins at the ‘A’ level against top ten contenders before taking the jump to fight Povetkin. Wawrzyk could fight David Tua, Hasim Rahman, David Price, Robert Helenius, Tyson Fury, Tony Thompson, Johnathon Banks, Manuel Charr, Edmund Gerber, Kubrat Pulev, Deontay Wilder, Bryan Jennings, and so on. A few wins at this level would give Wawrzyk the experience to test him, and the television exposure he needs to be a viable force in the heavyweight division.
Like his Polish compatriot Mariusz Wach (who holds the parallel ratings springboard WBC International World Heavyweight title to his WBA equivalent), Wawrzyk desperately needs more name fights before stepping up to fight for the world title. At Wladimir Klitschko found out when he fought the late Corrie Sanders and got stopped early, adequate ring experience is mandatory before stepping into the ring with a heavy hitter. True, Wawrzyk might do better in the ring than my attempts to spell his last correctly while writing this boxing article!
With any luck and heart, he might go the distance with Povetkin.