By Alexey Sukachev and Yuri Tarantin (Allboxing.ru)
According to Vyacheslav Karakash, the manager of highly regarded 2008 Beijing heavyweight gold medalist Rakhim Chakhkiev, his protégé is on the verge of fighting for the European cruiserweight crown after being nominated as the mandatory challenger for the prestigious blue belt.
“Our promoter Waldemar Kluch told us that he was starting negotiations for Rakhim to take part in the continental title fight”, said Karakash to Allboxing.ru. “Rakhim is presently in his native Ingushetia. He will start the active stage of his preparations for the upcoming fight in a week”.
Chakhkiev (16-0, 12 KOs) is ranked #3 by the WBC, #9 by the IBF, #10 by the WBA and #12 by the WBO. The 30-year old southpaw, who has just celebrated his birthday, was 5-0, 3 KOs, in 2012, earning the WBC Baltic belt and defending it twice. He notched stoppage wins over several well-known veterans, including ultra-durable journeyman Zack Page, former world title challenger Epifanio Mendoza, and Contender Season III finalist Jaidon Condrington.
The EBU belt belongs to fellow undefeated prospect Mateusz Masternak (29-0, 21 KOs) from Poland. The clash between two hard-hitting up-and-comers can surely be a cracker of sorts – one, which will certainly thrill the fans.