In a highly controversial decision, WBC cruiserweight ruler Krzysztof Wlodarczyk won a split decision over American challenger Francisco Palacios at Hala Luczniczka in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
The champion fought the first round as he did the following eleven - inching forward behind a high guard and hardly throwing a punch. When he did launch anything is was usually a jab, most of which landed but there was so few, never more than a handful a round, it's difficult to see how Wlodarczyk could have won the bout.
New Yorker Palacios waged a smart fight from the start, constantly shifting direction or going into a southpaw stance which had the effect of never letting Wlodarczyk mount an attack or even effectively counter.
Wlodarczyk followed Palacios around the ring instead of cutting him off and threw the right so rarely, it's a possibility that the hand was injured.
The challenger drove Wlodarczyk back time and time again behind a double or triple jab followed by winging right and lefts. While Wlodarczyk blocked some of these efforts, many got through.
If nothing else, Palacios clearly outworked Wlodarczyk, who just didn't do enough to win a majority of the rounds. Never did a sense of urgency creep into Wlodarczyk's approach, even in the final frame.
When the scores were read, Wlodarczyk won two cards, 116-113 and an extravagantly wide 118-112 while Palacios won the third 115-113, resulting in a split decision.
Wlodarczyk moves to 45-2-1 (32), retaining the WBC belt for the second occasion, while Palacios loses for the first time, dropping to 20-1 (13).