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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Isaac Chilemba to Face Osleys Iglesias

Isaac Chilemba is scheduled to face Cuban amateur standout Osleys Iglesias on May 27 at Hala Globus in Lublin, Poland in what should be a very interesting match. Chilemba retired after his last fight in November but changed his mind in January after consulting his friends, family, and officials at the Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board.

Chilemba, a 34 year old from Malawi and based in South Africa, sports a 26-8-3 record with 10 KOs. Though he is just 2-6-1 in his last nine fights, Chilemba has faced extremely tough competition. Isaac is a superior defensive fighter with a great jab and an amazing ability to counter.

Iglesias, a 24 year old Cuban based in Germany, is 5-0 with 5 KOs. The southpaw was an excellent amateur. As a pro, Iglesias has fought as a super middleweight and light heavyweight against tougher than usual competition. In his second fight, he took on Rafael Bejaran, who sported a 26-4-1 record and in his last bout, Iglesias fought Robert Racz, who had a 25-2 mark. Neither Bejaran nor Racz is anywhere near the level of Chilemba, however.

Iglesias possesses impressive skills. He remains balanced while attacking, something he does from the opening bell. Incredibly calm, Osleys features a slicing right hook and whipping left. He varies his punch angles and positions himself to unleash the maximum amount of punishment at all times. In five fights, he has fought a grand total of 11 minutes and 23 seconds although much of that time has been spent waiting for his opponents to get up.

Three of his five fights ended weirdly. In the Cuban's debut, he landed a little right hook early that forced Malkhaz Sujashvili down. Sujashvili either didn't see it or he had endured enough punishment in the first minute of the fight and began searching for a way out. Facing Bernard Donfack, Iglesias's incidental right hook scored two knockdowns. Iglesias throws the right hook in order to land the straight left, and appears shocked when the opponent goes down from the right. In the next fight, Rafael Sosa Pintos may have been thumbed in the eye with a jab, because he fell immediately much to Iglesias's confusion. Pintos did have a cut below the left eye, which quickly swelled, but it didn't take much to get him out of there.

There were no flukes against Bejaran, who was knocked out cold, and Racz, who ate many flush shots and was knocked down three times. Racz managed to connect with a good right in a way that Chilemba could exploit. Iglesias throws many of his lefts from a lower angle, leaving himself open for a counter right over the top. Against a southpaw, righties typically want their lead foot to be outside the lead foot of their opponent. That gives an opening for the straight right. However, Chilemba might want to play with fire and circle into Iglesias's left which would expose the opening created by Iglesias's  lower punch-angle. It's risky and Iglesias will surely adjust, but it might sow some doubt in the undefeated Cuban's mind. Racz was able to land a right with this tactic although Iglesias barely blinked.

Chilemba has some advantages in height and experience. He has fought the far better competition in the pros. Iglesias is a younger and much fresher. He also has more of a hometown advantage. Lublin isn't in Cuba, but Iglesias has fought two of his five prizefights in Poland. We saw last month in the Igor Lazarev-Dominik Harwankowski decision that judging in Poland can be corrupt.

The weight limit and number of rounds cannot yet be confirmed. This will be updated when the information becomes available. My guess is a 12 round super middleweight affair.

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