Friday night, December 6th, at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois, cruiserweights Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (48-2-1, 34 KO’s) and Giacobbe Fragomeni (31-3-2, 12 KO’s) will meet for the third time, with Wlodarczyk’s WBC cruiserweight world title on the line. The match up headlines a nine bout card which will also showcase light heavyweight contender Andrzej Fonfara in the co-feature attraction.
This will be the sixth title defense for Wlodarczyk, who won the vacant strap in 2011 when he faced Fragomeni for the second time, scoring an eighth round TKO over the former world title holder. Since then he’s scored some impressive victories including a come-from-behind 11th round stoppage of Australian Danny Green, and most recently a TKO stoppage over then undefeated Rakhim Chakhkiev in a fight of the year caliber bout that saw Wlodarczyk dropped in the third round but come back to score three knockdowns of his own before he sent Chakhkiev packing.
Fragomeni hasn’t faced the same level of competition as Wlodarczyk. The former EBU and International cruiserweight champ was on a 21-0 run until he met David Haye in 2006 and was stopped in nine rounds. He won his next five, and even had a short stint as the WBC world champion but had little success as a title holder; his first defense ended in a draw when he and Wlodarczyk met for the first time, he then lost the title to undefeated Zsolt Erdei in his next outing. He’s since won five of six bouts over limited opposition, among them, a draw and a one point victory over then 46 year old Silvio Branco, winning the WBC Silver cruiserweight title in the rematch. He last took an eight round decision over 8-11-1 Toni Visic in July.
This bout should cause little trouble for Wlodarczyk, who looks better with each fight. While the first match up between the two was a close one, Fragomeni was well behind in the rematch before being stopped and hasn’t fought anyone on the world champs level since then. Wlodarczyk’s a well-rounded fighter; a good jab with power in both hands, he can control a fight from the outside or get inside and do damaging work to the body as we saw in his second bout with the Italian challenger. Fragomeni appears to be the stronger of the two fighters, but doesn’t have the punching power he’ll need to unseat the world champion. He likes to work his way inside and break his opponents down but against Wlodarczyk, he’ll have to take a lot of shots to find his target, and those shots will add up quickly, resulting in a mid-round stoppage for the defending champion.
In the card’s co-feature, light heavyweight prospect Andrzej Fonfara (24-2, 14 KO’s) faces Samuel Miller (26-7, 23 KO’s) in a scheduled 10 round match up. Fonfara is coming off a ninth round stoppage of Gabriel Campillo, who challenged for the IBF world title last year, losing a controversial decision to Tavoris Cloud. He’s unbeaten in his last 15 outings, last losing to Derrick Findley in 2008. The one hiccup since then was a second round TKO over Skyler Thompson in 2009 which was overturned to a no contest when Fonfara tested positive for steroids.
Miller is 2-2 in his last four fights. In September he stopped 1-6 Leonardo Julio in one round. In March he was knocked out in two rounds by Marco Antonio Periban.