Already a two-time cruiserweight world champion, Krzysztof "Diablo" Wlodarczyk will seek to become a champion a third time, and also put himself into the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight semi-finals, when he battles IBF Champion Murat Gassiev on Saturday, October 21 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
"Anyone who knows me and my experience in this sport knows that I will be ready on October 21," said Wlodarczyk. "Everything that I’ve done so far in training camp and in sparring is to show my Polish fans in American that ’Diablo’ is back."
The Polish former champion not only has a chance to further solidify his place as one of the greatest Polish fighters of this generation, but he can put himself into a position to became the undisputed king of the division.
"I know how important this matchup is and that’s why I’m leaving no stone unturned in training," said Wlodarczyk. "This fight is for my legacy and I’ve worked hard to have the opportunity. If I can take full advantage of this, then I can send a lot of my fans home happy and that will be my goal on October 21."
If Wlodarczyk defeats Gassiev and captures the IBF crown, he will move on to the semi-finals to face WBA Champion Yunier Dorticos and put himself even close to winning the Muhammad Ali Trophy in a finals showdown with either WBO Champion Oleksandr Usyk or WBC Champion Mairis Briedis.
"Murat Gassiev is a strong dynamic fighter, but he’s not without flaws," said Wlodarczyk. "He beat Denis Lebedev in Moscow, and I have to respect that, but I’m working hard with my trainer to catch Gassiev with something that he will not be prepared for. They say he hits hard, but I hit harder.
"When there’s nothing to lose, I’m always the better fighter. Don’t be surprised if Gassiev is on the defensive from the beginning. This is my first time fighting in front of the great Polish fans in New Jersey and New York and I’m going to give them something to remember."
Wlodarczyk was unable to get revenge for his last defeat in a world title bout against Grigory Drozd after losing in 2014 and suffering an injury before their 2015 rematch. Wlodarczyk earned a 2016 title shot against Beibut Shumenov before Shumenov withdrew from their match with an injury. Overall ,Wlodarczyk has won four contests in a row leading into October 21.
"I’m very happy to be injury free and physically feel at the top of my game," said Wlodarczyk. "My message to my supporters around the world - don’t doubt my chances. Believe in me like I believe in myself. I’m not only there to beat Gassiev and become the IBF champion. I want to beat him and go all the way and bring that Muhammad Ali Trophy back to Poland!"
Additional action on October 21 will feature a WBSS reserve match between hard-hitting Polish contender Mateusz Masternak and once-beaten Stivens Bujaj, plus a 10-round super welterweight bout between unbeaten Polish contender Maciej Sulecki and former title challenger Jack Culcay.