Bethlehem, PA: On March 15th in front of a sold out house at Sands Casino and Hotel, Isaac "Golden Boy" Chilemba will take on Denis "The Pirate/Drago's Son" Grachev in the light heavyweight co-feature on NBCSN Fight Night. The light heavyweight division is one of the hottest divisions right now with world class fighters like Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev, Adonis Stevenson and Bernard Hopkins and the winner of this fight could be poised to face any one of them. Currently, Chilemba is ranked #2 in the WBC and Grachev is ranked #7 in the WBC.
Rich Graessle/Main Events
Chilemba's trainer, former IBF Light Middleweight and WBC Welterweight Champion Buddy McGirt, wouldn't make a prediction but said, "If Isaac does what I know he can do he can do, which is frustrate the hell out of this guy and out box him, this fight should be a walk in the park. It is all up to him come fight night."
Age : 26
Record : 21-2-2, 9 KOs
Strengths : Chilemba is very poised in the ring and maintains his composure, even when he's behind. He also has a solid defense.
Weakness : Chilemba has mediocre punching power and his accuracy is average.
Experience : Despite being five years younger, Chilemba has nine more professional fights (25 vs. 16) than Grachev. Chilemba boxed 183 rounds compared to 80 rounds for Grachev.
Chin : Chilemba has a pretty good chin; he has been down and gotten back up. According to Mizzone, "Chilemba fights better when his back is up against the wall."
Style : Chilemba is more of a boxer and is better defensively.
Intangibles : Chilemba agreed to fight a game underdog and that cannot be overlooked.
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Grachev's manager/trainer, Baruch Ferreira, said, "We have had our best training camp so far. Denis is looking sharp and he is in amazing shape. He is ready to make an exciting fight against Chilemba on Fight Night."
Age : 31
Record : 13-2-1, 8 KOs
Strengths : Grachev has good power and the will to win. According to Main Events' matchmaker Jolene Mizzone, "He can starch an opponent with one punch."
Weakness : Grachev has poor footwork and lacks amateur experience.
Experience : Grachev's last four opponents had a combined record of 103-1 and all were either contenders or former or current champions. Grachev's endurance has not been tested yet.
Chin : Grachev was only down once against Sillakh and came back to win but later was knocked out by Edwin Rodriguez in the first round.
Style : Grachev is more of a defensive fighter and has one-punch power.
Intangibles : Grachev did not think twice before taking the fight - confident.
The Match-Up :
Will Chilemba be able to stand up to Grachev's power?
Is Grachev the same fighter after his TKO loss to Edwin Rodriguez?
Will Chilemba fold under the bright lights?
Can Grachev redeem himself?
After getting blown away by Rodriguez, Grachev needs to prove it was just a fluke and that he has what it takes to compete at this level. If Chilemba loses to Grachev, he'll lose his #2 spot. Bottom line: neither fighter can afford to lose.
About March 15th:
The March 15th edition of NBCSN Fight Night at Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem features the twelve-round heavyweight match-up between Tomasz "Goral" Adamek and Vyacheslav "Czar" Glazkov for the IBF North American Heavyweight Title and IBF #2 Position Eliminator. The co-feature is a ten round light heavyweight match-up between Isaac "Golden Boy" Chilemba and Denis "The Pirate/Drago's Son" Grachev. Doors open at 6:00 PM ET. The co-feature and main event will be broadcast live on NBCSN Fight Night at 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT. Tickets are no longer available. The card is presented by Main Events, Peltz Boxing, Ziggy Promotions, and Pushka Promotions in association with BAM Boxing and Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.
NBC Sports Live Extra:
NBC Sports Group's live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets - will live stream Fight Night at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT on March 15th.
Coverage will be streamed via "TV Everywhere," the media industry's effort to make quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.
For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.
All NBC Sports Network live events live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra, and to the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via "TV Everywhere," which is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?