WBC No. 1 Cruiser
Appears in Rematch
In Wroclaw, Poland
on Sept. 22
Fla.—World Boxing Coucil No. 1-ranked cruiserweight Francisco “The
Wizard” Palacios will receive his long-awaited rematch against Krzysztof
“Diablo” Wlodarczyk when they square off on Sept. 22 in Wroclaw,
Palacios (21-1, 13 KOs), a proud Puerto Rican puncher
who was raised in Bayamon and now lives in Orlando, made his first
appearance in a world championship fight against Wlodarczyk (46-2-1, 33
KOs) on April 2, 2011. The fight took place in Wlodarczyk’s native Poland.
A partisan, sold-out crowd of over 7,000 packed into the arena in the city of Bydgoszcz. Palacios
felt he won the fight against an elusive opponent who appeared wary of
his power, and one judge agreed with him 115-113 after 12 rounds. The remaining two caused controversy by choosing Wlodarczyk as the victor by the respective scores of 116-113 and 118-112.
didn’t help Wlodarczyk that 3.2 million Poles watched the fight on
television, and the announcers favored the American in the fight.
was a learning experience in that I knew I was winning the fight inside
the ring, but I was in a foreign country and should have fought even
harder to make Wlodarczyk open up, which wasn’t easy,” Palacios said. “I
think the reaction by his own countrymen afterwards gives him no choice
but to fight more in the rematch, which is what I want.”
demanded an immediate rematch from the WBC, but the sanctioning
organization allowed the Pole an interim fight with Danny Green before
facing Palacios. Wlodarczyk redeemed himself by traveling to Australia and stunning Green with an 11th-round technical knockout in a fight he had been losing on the scorecards. Now Palacios looms on Sept. 22.
first time I went to Poland, it was a good training camp but I didn’t
have the camaraderie I now have with the sparring partners. This
time, the guys I’m working with stay with me, eat dinner with me and
they are giving me the mental support to beat Wlodarczyk. We are all
working together to bring home a world title. This has been the best training camp of my life.”
The ever-talkative and outgoing Palacios has refocused himself for the rematch.
“Before the first fight, I was talking too much. I was paying attention to what Wlodarczyk was saying and responding to that. This time, I’m only focusing on my preparation and nothing else. It’s up to me to win this fight, not about my opponent losing it.
When asked what he’s doing better now than in the past, Palacios was quick to respond.
“I’m doing everything better. My major improvement is in mental preparation. I’m approaching this fight differently. This time, I’m going to tell the referee before the match that I’m coming to fight because this is a world championship.
“Every time I put some punches together in the last fight, the referee would warn me and break up the action. I spent too much time trying to keep the referee happy. Nobody’s going to prevent me from fighting this time—not Wlodarczyk, not the referee, not anyone. I am going to throw a lot of punches and throw caution to the wind, which is the kind of fighter I am anyway.”
Josue Aguilar, Palacios longtime trainer, has seen changes in his fighter.
“We will have a different approach this time,” Aguilar said. “It’s not enough just to win, Francisco must dominate.
biggest difference between then and now is we learned everything we
needed to know about Diablo in the first fight, but he doesn’t even
begin to know the real Francisco Palacios. That is who he will face in the rematch. The intensity level will be off the charts.”
promoter Don King has a long history of sending his fighters into
hostile territories, so he remains resolute that truth will prevail in
“Thomas Carlyle said, ‘No lie can live forever’ and I truly believe that,” King said. “Cisco is not the first American to travel overseas and receive an unfriendly decision. But that is not important. What is important is how he responds to the adversity.
“I have spoken to him, and he knows how important this fight is to his career. I love Cisco because he comes to fight. He’s my kind of fighter. He’s
very important to me and all of us at Don King Productions—we’re all
behind him, 100 percent. He will bring home the world title he has
worked so hard for.”
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