Photos by Sumio Yamada
ALEXANDER DIMITRENKO vs DANNY BATCHELDER
Towering Ukrainian heavyweight Alexander Dimitrenko is being brought along slowly and steadily, and he takes a marginal step upwards when he meets Danny Batchelder on the big Universum show in Stuttgart on Saturday.
Batchelder is a better calibre of fighter than anyone Dimitrenko has faced so far, with the exception of cagey Vaughn Bean.
A smart boxer with a good chin, Batchelder extended Brian Minto last June. He is much the smaller man in this fight, though, and the sheer physical disadvantages as much as anything make it highly unlikely that he will pull off the upset: Dimitrenko is a 6ft 7ins, 250-pounder while Batchelder, who turned pro as a light-heavy, is really just a cruiserweight.
Vaughn Bean showed that a smaller man can land punches quite effectively against Dimitrenko, who can be a bit predictable and mechanical and the much shorter Chris Koval dropped the Ukrainian with a big right hand over the top. Dimitrenko boxes well and can punch a bit but there still seems a bit of vulnerability about him, hence the careful build-up.
Saturdays bout comes into the learning fight category for Dimitrenko. He should, of course, get his 25th win in a row, but Batchelder has the savvy to set him some problems.
I think there is a reasonable chance that the fight goes the full 10 rounds (thats what Universums Christof Hawerkamp tells me the distance is, although I have seen the bout listed as a 12-rounder), but it all depends on how much the massive size difference tells on Batchelder.