By Dmitry Mikhalchuk and Alexey Sukachev
According to Alina Shaternikova, formerly a championship boxer and presently the vice-president of National Boxing Federation of Ukraine, one of the two state’s top cruiserweight stars Dmytro Kucher (22-1, 16 KOs) was set as a mandatory for Russian Rakhim Chakhkiev (21-1, 16 KOs).
WBC #1 rated Chakhkiev (who is also ranked #5 by the IBF, #8 by the WBO, #10 by the WBC and TBRB) holds both the WBC Silver and EBU cruiserweight titles. His nomination has been confirmed by letters from both Mauricio Sulaiman Saldivar (the president of World Boxing Council) and Enza Jacoponi (the general secretary of the European Boxing Union).
Chakhkiev, 32, was previously rumoured to face twice-defeated Pole Lukasz Janik (28-2, 15 KOs) in an optional defense of his EBU belt but that match was denied by the Pole's manager. The Russian slugger, who captured the gold at heavyweight division in 2008 Summer Olympics, has been riding high since his spirited loss to then-champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in June 2013. Chakhkiev is 5-0, 4 KOs, since then.
Kucher, 30, who partied ways with the Elite Boxing Promotions the last year, also lost at approximately the same time with Chakhkiev – against Congolese prospect Ilunga Makabu. he hadn’t been fighting for 15 months after that but then came back with the fourth-round stoppage of journeyman Galen Brown last September.
According to Kucher’s manager Pavel Govzman negotiations between Team Kucher and Team Chakhkiev are underway now.