One of the biggest fights of the year takes place this Saturday night. One of the sport’s dominant champions will face one of its biggest potential stars. This should be a can’t-miss for boxing fans.
But if you are in North America, you will need to comb the internet for a feed. Because the fight I am talking about will take place at cruiserweight, a division U.S. boxing fans and media ignore.
It is worth noting, WBO cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki has done his best to intrude into the American boxing consciousness over the past year or so. In August 2015, he captured his belt from long-time champion Marco Huck, with a dramatic, Round 11 knockout, in one of the year’s most exciting fights. In April, he beat veteran Steve Cunningham, one of the best cruiserweights of the past decade, knocking him down four times in another all-action slugfest.
Both of Glowacki’s past two wins took place in the United States, broadcast on PBC cards.
On Saturday, Glowacki will be back in his native Poland, facing undefeated Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk. Usyk was an Olympic gold medalist at heavyweight in 2012. Usyk looks a lot like he could be a 200-pound version of Vasyl Lomachenko.
This is truly the most important fight taking place this weekend, not Saul Alvarez’s pay-per-view turn against untested WBO junior middleweight belt-holder Liam Smith.
Smith claimed his belt when it was vacant, by beating John Thompson, a relative unknown. Thompson is Smith’s best win and Thompson’s best win came over Brandon Adams, a fighter well outside the 154-pound top 25. Alvarez is facing Smith, instead of fighting middleweight Gennady Golovkin or a true top junior middleweight like Demetrius Andrade.
It is an embarrassment.
Glowacki, in comparison, knocked out one of the longest-reigning champions in the sport to claim his belt. He defended it by trouncing another battle-tested, former champion. This time he is defending against one of the most exciting talents to enter the division in recent memory.
That is a fight worth watching.