Light heavyweight Isaac "Golden Boy" Chilemba is scheduled to fight Rayco "War" Saunders on September 29 at the Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Chilemba was originally scheduled to fight undefeated two-time champion Zsolt Erdei, but Erdei pulled out of the bout complaining of broken ribs.
Chilemba's clash with Erdei was supposed to be televised on HBO. When Erdei dropped out earlier this month, Chilemba was taken off of the televised portion of the card. For the next two weeks, Chilemba was left without an opponent as promoters scrambled to find a suitable replacement. Things looked bleak, because, frankly, Chilemba is too good. No qualified opponent was willing to fight the dangerous Malawi-native without a full training camp.
At that point, Chilemba told The Jewish Boxing Blog, "[I] hope it works out or I have had a costly 5 week vacation." Some vacation; Chilemba definitely wasn't relaxing on a beach. He trained day in and day out for those five weeks at the Hit Factory in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Thankfully, an opponent was found. Rayco Saunders (22-16-2, 9 KOs) likely won't pose much of a problem for Chilemba (19-1-1, 9 KOs). Saunders is a capable journeyman who has feasted on mediocre competition and consistently lost when he steps up.
But Saunders is tough. In his 16 losses, he has only been stopped once and that was back in 2003. In the past two years, he's gone the distance with prospect Ismayl Sillakh and world title challenger Edison Miranda. Saunders outpointed veteran Daniel Judah last year.
Chilemba, rated ninth in the world at light heavyweight according to The Ring, is coming off of an impressive decision victory over Miranda back in February.