So this week’s fighter. How do you like the Cruiserweight division? Not much right? They’re are just wannabe heavy’s but not big enough right? Well here’s a name to add to your boxrec “watch” list Rakhim Chakhkiev. A classy Russian amateur who has now turned his attention to taking over the professional ranks and he may well be one of those fighters that can really help establish the “bastard” division. With his amateur background being highlighted by Gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a Silver medal at the 2007 World Amateur Championships both at heavyweight he’s turned to the professional ranks in a relative blaze of glory.
He started his career by stopping Tayar Mehmed in late 2009 and has stopped all 5 of his opponents as a professional with heavy hands, excellent technical abilities and a style possibly more suited the the pro ranks than the amateur one. With Michael Timm training him and a major German promoter behind him he’ll likely remain hidden from American audiences for a while though this does have it’s rather cool advantages. At the moment the top Cruiserweights are based in Europe which means that he’ll get the competition he needs by facing the faded cruisers out there and the smaller heavyweights as he learns the trade and likely gets fast tracked to the top.
With fighters like Steve Cunningham, Marco Huck, Herbie Hide, Denis Lebedev, Alexander Alexeev, Ola Olafabi, Yoan Pablo Hernandez, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, Grigory Drozd, Pawel Kolodziej, Giacobbe Fragomeni, Firat Arslan, Steve Herelius and Enzo Maccarinelli all based in or signed to European promoters it seems likely that the division will see the best fighters over here (I’m based in the UK so it’s over here ;-)). With that in mind it’s likely only a few fights before Chakhkiev will be stepping up in competition.
At the time of posting Rakhim is pencilled in for a bout on July 3rd on the undercard of Firat Arslan v Steve Herelius and Ina Menzer v Jeannine Garside, though there is no opponent currently named. It’s likely to be a solid step up in opponent for a fighter than some are seeing as the future of the division and at 27 years old he may well dominate for a while.