Krzysztof Glowacki vs Oleksandr Usyk
BY KID HERSH
From Ergo Arena in Gdansk Poland came the highly anticipated cruiserweight fight between unbeaten titlist Krzysztof Glowacki (26-0, 16KO's) and unbeaten fast rising star Oleksandr Usyk (9-0, 9KO's). This fight represents a huge step in class for Usyk, but the boxing world knows that they have a serious talent in him as he is a heavily decorated amateur. The two southpaws started the fight a bit tentatively, with Glowacki trying to walk down Usky who was using his great footwork to circle his man and pop the jab. Glowacki couldn't find the target but it looked like his motor did not really get going yet. He tried to get his offense mounted in the second round but was having trouble finding the target either due to Usyk's elusiveness or because he had such a tight guard that he was catching punches to the gloves as well. Usyk was really moving well though, constantly in a different position or angle and it was really confusing Glowacki. In the third round Usyk widened the gap between the two even more as he unleashed left hands behind the jab that hit home to Glowacki's head. He drew blood from above Glowacki's right eye from those left hands and was really boxing beautifully on his feet now, confusing and beating up the champion. In the coming rounds it looked like there was no way Usyk could continue the high energy pace he set early on. It's not so much that he was throwing hundreds of punches, it's the fact that he was moving nonstop in the ring to keep Glowacki from getting off. It was an extremely hard thing to do for a big man for an extended period of time to always be light on his feet and moving moving moving but he did just that while either countering Glowacki's punches or leading himself and having too great of hand speed for Glowacki to counter him back. Any time Glowacki tried to answer Usyk's quick leads or combinations Usyk was well out of range or slipping the return fire. Usyk was really something else entirely to watch in this fight as the rounds wore on. He was boxing absolutely beautiful, having a tight guard for his defense when needed, or positioning himself to slip punches by bending and twisting his upper body, which has amazing rhythm that is unpredictable and supremely effective to stunt a guy like Glowacki's offense, which needs to get set and planted in order to be effective. By the time the second half of the fight rolled around the crowd was getting restless for their hometown guy to do something, anything, but it was simply out of his ability - which is really saying something for Usyk here to be able to shut out a guy of Glowacki's caliber. The other amazing thing in the second half of the fight was Usyk's stamina which was not really waning at all. Glowacki finally had a tiny bit of success in the eighth and ninth rounds when he finally got aggressive enough to just commit himself without real openings and lunge with looping left hands to back Usyk into the ropes a couple of times. The punches were mostly ineffective though and Usyk still had more success himself with his dominant right hand and footwork. Somehow commentator/fighter Grzegorz Proksa managed to have the fight even through ten rounds - meanwhile I have not given a single round to Glowacki yet as he has been thoroughly outclassed in every sense of the word. Usyk would show this dominance yet again in the championship rounds as he blasted home combinations such as one minute into the eleventh round that slammed home on Glowacki, who had no response. Usyk even did his own version of the Ali shuffle a bit later - yet again showing world class abilities and stamina. The twelfth round was a rousing one that had the entire crowd on its feet as Glowacki had some moments unloading everything he had left in his arsenal. It was not enough however (not that that was ever in doubt) as Usyk continued his beautiful boxing and even added additional wrinkles in the final round such as stepping around his mans lead side and unloading right hands that Glowacki was out of position for and could no respond to once he was put in the position. The cards would come in 119-109, 117-111 and 117-111 for the new champion Usyk, whom I gave the fight via shutout. He outclassed Glowacki so badly here that one would think Glowacki to be nothing more than an old journeyman, which isn't the case of course. Usyk really could not have had a better showing.