Godfrey punches way to Germany for WBC Title Eliminator versus Kraj on March 8
PROVIDENCE (February 4, 2008) – Unbeaten NABF cruiserweight champion Matt “Too Smooth” Godfrey (16-0, 9 KOs), rated No. 1 by the World Boxing Council, travels to Germany to battle undefeated, No. 2 ranked Rudy Kraj (13-0, 10 KOs) on March 8 in a WBC title elimination bout determining champion David Haye’s mandatory challenger..
Article posted on 05.02.2008
“Kraj won a Silver Medal in the 2000 Olympics and going overseas to fight him will be a big test,” the 27-year-old Godfrey said. “He’s very good. Kraj is a typical Eastern European fighter who does some things very well. The winner of this fight is going to be set-up nice in the WBC. I’m looking at it as a title fight.”
The WBC title eliminator potentially has additional implications because Haye, who also holds the WBA title belt, fights the same night as Godfrey-Kraj in a unification bout versus WBO champion Enzo Maccarinelli. A win by Haye reportedly will send him up to heavyweight, leaving the cruiserweight division wide open, and the Godfrey-Kraj winner possibly the new WBC champion or Interim title-holder.
“I’ve fought in Europe as an amateur but never in Germany,” Godfrey noted. “I’ve watched the surge of boxing in Europe and always knew that my title run would go through Europe, especially with cruiserweights like Haye, Enzo and Jean-Marc Mormeck. I’ve prepared mentally and I believe that I’m a world class fighter who is ready for this.”
Godfrey has been training almost non-stop since the middle of August. First, his bout against Jeremy Williams in November was cancelled when the show fell apart, and the Kraj fight was originally slated for February. He will head to Germany with his head trainer, former world light heavyweight title challenger “Iceman” John Scully, 10-14 days in advance of the show in order to get acclimated and arrange sparring.
Matt, second heavyweight alternate on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team, had a 194-23 amateur record, capturing six national championships -- four open tournaments including the 2004 Everlast U.S. Championships, plus two in the Junior Olympics – as well as a Bronze medal at the 2001 Pan-American Games, Silver in all four of that year’s national major tournaments (National Golden Gloves, PAL (Police Athletic League), U.S. Championships and U.S. Challenge) and six-time New England Golden Gloves champion.
The highly decorated U.S. amateur defeated many boxers who today are outstanding professionals such as WBA middleweight title challenger Randy “The Gentleman Griffin (24-1-3, 12 KOs), unbeaten heavyweight prospect Chazz “Mensa With Muscles” Witherspoon (21-0, 14 KOs), Devin Vargas (14-0, 6 KOs), Corey “Black Ice” Cummings (15-2, 12 KOs), Leonard “Haitian Sensation” Pierre (18-3, 13 KOs) and John Johnson (12-1, 10 KOs).
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