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Drozd Wins

The Tale of Four Overprotected Top Polish Cruiserweights, Exposed in Foreign Lands

By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent

Warsaw, Poland (October 4, 2014)– Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, Mateusz Masternak and Pawel Kolodziej were the best professional boxers Poland showcased for years in the cruiserweight division. Recent events have provided evidence they are not the best of the best, when fighting outside of their native Poland. Recent results validate the concept it is a bad idea to overprotect fighters at home, because when they have a big fight elsewhere, the results can be less than favorable. In this case, all three of these showcased Polish cruiserweights did not live up to expectations and met with disappointment.

Denis Lebedev knocks out 33-0 Pawel Kolodziej, September 2014, Moscow, Russia

33-0 Pawel Kolodziej fought in Russia for the first time and got exposed in September 2014, as Denis Lebedev knocked him out with a powerful left hook at 2:08 of the second round to retain his World Boxing Association World Cruiserweight title.

30-0 Matesz Masternak lost his European Cruiserweight title in October 2013, when Grigory Drosd of Russia cut him over the left eye, and stopped him in the eleventh round in Moscow. Masternak lost again, a 12 round split decision for the interim World Boxing Association World Cruiserweight title, to Youri Kalenga of the Congo, in Monte Carlo in June 2014.

Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, a veteran of 12 world champion ship fights in the cruiserweight division, lost his World Boxing Council World Cruiserweight title to Grigory Drosz of Russia in Moscow in September 2014 by 12 round unanimous decision.

A fourth Polish cruiserweight, Lucasz Janik, 27-2, lost an IBO World Cruiserweight title bout bymajority12 round decision to Ola Afolabi in November 2013 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Janik also lost to compatriot Masternak in October 2009.

A fifth Polish cruiserweight, 22-0 southpaw Krzysztof Glowacki, who holds the WBO Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title, continues to take fights only in Poland.

When put to the test, overhyped records frequently get exposed. Masternak and Kolodziej proved to be less than world class against serious main event competition. Wlodarczyk will be back, perhaps (rumored to be) next in a 12 rounder against Denis Lebedev for the WBA World Cruiserweight title in Russia. If it happens, Lebedev, a cut above other fighters, will beat Wlodarczyk.

Consistently, Wlodarczyk has avoided Ola Afolabi, Thabiso Mchunu, Yoan Pablo Hernandez, Ilungas Makabu, Yunier Dorticos, Youri Kalenga, Dmitry Kudryashov, and Mirko Larghetti, the heart of the cruiserweight contenders of the division.

When Afolabi was brought to Poland in 2011 to fight one of the unbaten Polish contenders, a last minute ‘change of heart’ had Afolabi fight 9-10 Polish journeyman Lukasz Rusiewicz instead. If the Polish contingency expected Afolabi to give away his fighting techniques, they were mistaken, as Afolabi won an eight round decision in Poland which strategically revealed nothing. If you consistently fight stiffs, eventually you will get taken to the cleaners. Contrast that to the late Thailand southpaw Saensak Muangsurin, who won the World Boxing Council World Light Welterweight title in his third professional fight!

Muangsurin figured into 12 WBC World Light Welterweight title bouts, including winning in the fifteenth round three times. He fought in five foreign countries outside of Thailand. Muangsurin proved there are no excuses, and a well-trained fighter can do it all in no time flat. Grigory Drosz of Russia went right after Poland’s best and immediately beat two of them. Lebedev easily beat Kolodziej and Santander Silgado, combined records of 53-0, both by second round knockout.

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