Ilunga Makabu vs Michal Cieslak Odds & Picks

Michal Cieslak
The vacant WBC cruiserweight world title is up for grabs when Ilunga Makabu and Michal Cieslak lock horns. Photo by @RingBlogpl (Twitter)
  • Makabu vs Cieslak goes Friday, January 31st at 3:00 pm EST
  • Can Makabu add one more knockout to his already jam-packed highlight reel?
  • Will Cieslak maintain his spotless record and cement his place in history?

Makabu vs Cieslak will clash in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. This will be the first world championship fight contested in the DRC for close to half a century. There are multiple fun prize fights to close out the first month of this new decade. The two men will compete over the vacant WBC world cruiserweight championship. This prizefight pits the number one ranked contender versus the number two contender. With the styles of both men, the judges might not need to get involved at all in this contest that’s scheduled for twelve rounds. Check out the odds for his prizefight and my analysis of the bout below.

Makabu vs Cieslak Odds

Fighter Odds
Ilunga Makabu -200
Michal Cieslak +160

Odds taken Jan. 27

Makabu was originally scheduled to fight Krzysztof Wlodarczyk but he had a rough last fight and indicated he needed more time to recover. Then Cieslak entered the fray to take on the WBC silver champion. These two warriors are ready to throw down for the green and gold belt while cementing themself as the top 200 lb boxer on the planet.

Cieslak has a streak of thee stoppage victories leading into this bout while Makabu recently had a six-fight KO streak snapped when he defeated Aleksei Papin via majority decision in his last outing. There’s a redemptive element for this fight as Makabu failed in his prior bid for the WBC cruiserweight title when he lost to Tony Bellew (his last loss as a pro).

Cruiserweights Clash

Makabu has the promotional backing of Don King (who almost ended up derailing this fight booking) and he has a fighting style that is can’t miss. This guy knows how to provide highlight-reel style action but clearly has a strong fight IQ with a comprehensive sense of ringcraft. Cieslak is unbeaten as a professional. Both men have faced a similar quality of opposition over the years. This booking makes perfect sense both on paper in a stylistic sense but also considering the respective resumes/ divisional hierarchy placement of both pugilists.

Makabu has a 92 percent knockout rate. Cieslak is hovering just below the seventy percent mark so he can crack in his own right. But that being said, Makabu has more of that one punch kind of stoppage power. A firefight is not something that Cieslak should be looking to get into with a pugilist like Ilunga Makabu.

I think the southpaw stance of Makabu will also give Cieslak fits as the fight goes on. The different angles and footwork considerations will give Makabu a bit of an edge and it truly is a game of millimeters at the elite level.

Makabu vs Cieslak Tale of the Tape

Makabu
VS
Cieslak

26-2 Record 19-0
24 Knockouts 13
6’0 Height 6’3
74″ Reach 79″
Aleksei Papin, Dmitry Kudryashov, Taylor Mabika Significant Wins Olanrewaju Durodola, Youri Kayembre Kalenga,
Francisco Palacios
Southpaw Stance Orthodox

Cieslak is of Polish descent and wants to add his name to the list of Polish world champions. Names like Dariusz Michalczewski, Tomasz Adamek, Krzysztof Włodarczyk and the aforementioned Krzysztof Glowacki are in that exclusive company. I theorize that Cieslak will not add himself to that list just yet.

Makabu’s skillset will be galvanized when he competes in a world title scenario for his fellow countrymen in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I think Makabu will score a knockout inside of ten rounds to the delight of his compatriots.

Pick: Ilunga Makabu (-200)

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