By Alexey Sukachev
It looks like Lukasz Janik (28-2, 15 KOs) is all but signed to face WBC cruiserweight champion Grigory Drozd (39-1, 27 KOs) on May 22 in Moscow, Russia, a co-feature of a card promoted by the “World of Boxing”.
Janik, 29, is due to replace his compatriot and former WBC champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (49-3-1, 35 KOs), who was scheduled to fight Drozd in a rematch of their September encounter but was forced to withdraw due to complications of the cold he had contracted not so long ago. It’s to be noted that the fight is listed for the title on the WOB website, meaning that there should be a special permission for such a defense since Janik is rated #19 in the latest WBC ranks.
Lukasz Janik started his pro career in Germany at the very end of 2006 and fought (and won) in Moscow in June 2007 as a part of Alexander Povetkin vs. Larry Donald match-up.
Janik’s losses came against 14-0 Mateusz Masternak in 2009 and to former WBO interim champion Ola Afolabi on a majority decision in 2013.
As for Wlodarczyk vs. Drozd, the fight can still be alive and take place this fall. The Polish side has already presented WOB with confirmation of the sickness and approximate dates of recovery.
Also, according to the “World of Boxing”, TBRB #8 ranked cruiserweight Rakhim Chakhkiev (22-1, 17 KOs) will now face American Junior Anthony Wright (13-0-1, 11 KOs) for a vacant IBO 200lb title.
It was previously announced that the 32-year old 2008 Beijing heavyweight gold medalist Chakhkiev would battle Italian Mirko Larghetti (22-1, 14 KOs) for the belt. No reason for the change has yet been announced.
WBC/IBF #5, WBO #6 and WBA #11 rated cruiserweight Chakhkiev is 6-0, 5 KOs, since being stopped by Wlodarczyk in his WBC title attempt in one of the best thrillers of 2013. As for Wright, 28, he is not ranked in top-15 by major sanctioning bodies. His best result is a draw with the WBC #15 rated contender Stivens Bujaj (12-0 at the time) in May 2014.
Drozd vs. Janik and Chakhkiev vs. Wright fights will be parts of a six-bout card, which will be headlined by Alexander Povetkin, who is facing Ismaikel (“Mike”) Perez in a major heavyweight match-up.