The Russian boxing scene has really emerged over the last year or two and the driving force behind that seems to have been the "Night Wolves" biker gang which appears to be financially backing much of the growth in almost a show of Russian dominance.
At the boxing forefront to the "Night Wolves" is the hard hitting Dmitry Chudinov (13-0-2, 8) who actually took his nickname, "Night Wolf", from the bikers. The backing Chudinov has been given has helped him to claim the WBA interim Middleweight title and helped him become one of the most well backed fighters in Russian history, not just financially but in terms of supporters.
The crowd numbers of Chudinov's fight last year against Jorge Navarro were apparently a record setting 200,000 and although not all came for the boxing, and the event was free, it shows the status that Chudinov has amongst the biker gang who helped organised the show alongside Alexander Hrunov.
Almost a year on from his bout with Navarro we see Chudinov return to action in a Open-Air Bike Show, this time in the hotly disputed area of Crimea. The crowd is likely to be similar to what it was 12 months ago though this time the move is very political with both Russia and Ukraine claiming the area.
For Chudinov, who looks to be a political pawn here, he has been matched easily with a contest against light hitting Frenchman Mehdi Bouadla (30-5, 11). Unsurprisingly Bouadla, who really shouldn't be ranked, is ranked #12 by the WBA and has been passed fit as a challenger to Chudinov's interim title as the WBA appear set to bend over backwards for the occasional political battle, as they did when they allowed Ruslan Chagaev to fight for the WBA Heavyweight title recently.
Bouadla, for those who recognise his name, has fought some solid fighters, such as Gennady Golovkin back in 2007, Mikkel Kessler in 2011 and Arthur Abraham in 2012. Though he has yet to beat someone with any name value just showing what a "patsy" he is going in to this bout.
We understand the belief the Russian's have in Chudinov and, 12 months ago, they were calling out Martin Murray and Sam Soliman. Why they've managed to Bouadla for this fight is a mystery, though one would assume he didn't want a lot of money and the WBA could have their pockets lined for allowing him to take the fight.
It's a shame that the politics of this bout will over-shadow Chudinov who has looked like a fast improving fighter, as shown in his excellent performance against Patrick Nielsen back in June. If that Chudinov turns up he stops Bouadla here, in fact if that Chudinov turns up he gives 90% of the Middleweight scene a beating with his aggression.
We hope this bout doesn't come with any nasty scenes after it though we do have our worries that problems will kick off. If they don't then hopefully Chudinov will take a big step up in class next time out.
(Image courtesy of http://boxko.ru)
After the genuinely crazy Saturday the boxing world gives us no time to catch our breathe, no break and no opportunity to reflect. Instead it throws us yet another curve ball with another "world title fight" which takes place in Russia and will see a collision of unbeaten men each looking to claim the WBA interim Middleweight title.
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)
World Title Previews
The biggest fights get broken down as we try to predict who will come out on top in the up coming world title bouts.