WBC Cruiserweight Champion Giacobbe Fragomeni puts his world title belt on the line for the first time when he meets ex-IBF Champ Krzysztof Wlodarczyk at the Gran Teatro tonight in Rome.
Coming off an eighth round technical decision win over previously undefeated Rudolf Kraj for the vacant WBC title last October, former amateur standout Fragomeni, 26-1 (10), is ready for his night in the spotlight.
And at age 39, Fragomeni doesn't have any time to waste.
The Milan based hard man gave European champion David Haye all he could handle in 2006 before a ninth round cuts stoppage and Fragomeni is the favorite to turn back the ambitions of his Polish opponent tonight in Italy's largest city.
Wlodarczyk, 41-2 (31), has won all four of his contests since losing an IBF title rematch with America's Steve Cunningham two years ago but the level of competition in those fights wasn't very high and not really a good lead in to the much more difficult level of opposition he'll encounter tonight.
For Wlodarczyk to pull off the upset, he'll have to keep the always aggressive Fragomeni on the outside and hammer the granite-jawed Italian on the way in, hoping to tire the champ out in the later rounds.
But the much shorter Fragomeni is the better boxer and will likely find a way to set up shop in close quarters where he will look to outwork the challenger.