By Alexey Sukachev
According to Rakhim Chakhkiev’s manager Vyacheslav Karakash, his protégé, rated #1 in the recent WBC cruiserweight rankings, has a fixed plan for 2014. A new route starts for Chakhkiev (17-1, 13 KOs) on March 15 in Moscow, Russia, with the most possible opponent being WBC #5 Silvio Branco (63-11-3, 37 KOs) of Italy. The fight will fall into a huge card, promoted by Andrey Ryabinskiy.
“We are presently in negotiations with Silvio Branco and his team”, said Karakash to RIA Novosti media agency. “We’ve presented them with the offer, and they are considering it as we talk. Rakhim was defined as the opponent for Branco in a fight for the WBC Silver title during the recent WBC Congress is Bangkok. The winner of the fight will also become a mandatory challenger for the WBC champion (Krzysztof Wlodarczyk). If negotiations fail, we shall insist a purse bid to be arranged to set a host party. If Branco refuses to face Rakhim, we shall be offered another opponent. Frankly, I think it won’t be lucrative for the Italians to reject our offer”.
Branco, with 25-year long career and WBA light heavyweight title behind, is 47 now and the reigning holder of the WBC Silver belt. He took it last July with a well-earned technical decision over Finnish fighter Juho Haapoja.
Karakash also revealed future plans of the 2008 Beijing heavyweight gold medalist, “If successful against Branco, Rakhim will most probably collide with WBC #4 rated Cuban veteran Juan Carlos Gomez (53-3, 39 KOs). Then, theoretically, we should have a rematch with Wlodarczyk”.