In one corner is the highly touted Russian puncher Dmitry Chudinov (12-0-2, 8) who is somewhat basic and straight forward in his boxing but very strong and very powerful. If he can cut the distance and let his hands go Chudinov is a really dangerous fighter who can be a nightmare for anyone.
Sadly whilst Chudinov is a fun to watch fighter he's also a fighter who lacks any plan B and, with his heavy shots, he can often blow his wad rather early. Its this that is a major problem for the Russian who looked very limited in both of his draws with Paul Mendez and Patrick Mendy, and he also looked less than sensational in his victory over Max Maxwell. It often looks like a a case of either Chudinov will win early, or he'll struggle.
One more issue with Chudinov is his inexperience. He has fought just 14 bouts and featured in 55 rounds though oddly being rushed to a title fight will likely do him more good than hard. If he has 3 or 4 more fights before being moved up to this level there is every chance he will suffer a loss or take too much extra damage due to his poor defence which is unlikely to ever be improved on.
In the opposite corner to the unbeaten Russian is Denmark's Patrick Nielsen (22-0, 11) who will hoping to keep his own unbeaten run going.
As for his boxing Nielsen is a more technically correct boxer with better movement, the more proven energy tank and, although he doesn't hit nearly as hard as the Russian, he is a very capable puncher with respectable power. He hits cleanly, sharply and accurately though rarely outs his weight through shots almost as if he accepts there is no need to take a risk and be caught off balance.
For us this is the old puncher vs boxer style match up. Typically they favour the boxer and we tend to feel that's likely to be the case again here with Nielsen dancing around the Russian who will be trying to apply pressure but having his slow feet taken advantage of by the Dane.
We expect Chudinov to start well but fade fast and by the time we get to the final bell it's going to be anyone's guess as to who wins the decision. With that in mind this is a very hard bout to call and we could see Nielsen stealing it or Chudinov's early work
(Image courtesy of VK.com)