Mexican Independence Day Weekend has held a special place in the hearts of American boxing fans. Over the last 30 years it has become a staple for major fight card to be scheduled on this weekend even if it didn’t feature a Mexican or Mexican-American as a headliner.
This weekend is no different.
On the first fight card on Mexican Independence Day weekend in recent years that will not have Floyd Mayweather as the headliner, Mexican Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will challenge England’s Liam Smith for the World Boxing Organization junior middleweight title live on HBO Pay-Per-View. The fight is being held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, home of the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys. This however is not the only major title fight being held today as across the Atlantic a cruiserweight showdown in Poland will start in the American afternoon. Here is a preview of the boxing action this weekend:
Ergo Arena, Gdansk, Poland
Krzystof Glowacki (WBO Cruiserweight Champion) vs. Oleksandr Usyk
In what may turn out to be the fight of the weekend Glowacki will make his second title defense since defeating Marco Huck last August in a thrilling 2015 Fight Of The Year candidate. Unlike his first defense which was a against a former champion and veteran in Steve Cunningham, Glowacki is facing a rugged young challenger in Usyk who has won all nine of his pro bouts by knockout.
Usyk, like many other recent fighters from the former Soviet Bloc, has a decorated amateur background. What has made him one of the fan favorites in hardcore boxing circles however has been his aggression from the opening bell. That seems to contrast in style with the champion Glowacki who has used patience along with power to both pull off the upset against Huck and win a decision against Cunningham. Glowacki has also shown that he can take a punch well and weather the storm like he did in the sixth round of the Huck fight where it was almost stopped.
Glowacki does look to have the cards stacked in his favor in the terms of venue, but Usyk looks to counter that with having fellow Ukrainian fighters such as former heavyweight champion turned politician Vitali Klitschko and WBO junior lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko in his corner. Another balancing element has been the seeing other prominent Polish fighters such as Tomasz Adamek and Andrzej Fonfara suffer upset losses this year.
This is a classic fight of youth against experience. Glowacki has to use that experience to tire Usyk out but the challenger’s power and tenacity may prove too much.
Prediction: Usyk by late stoppage