The rise of Russian boxing in the last few years has been genuinely amazing. It's been as if a sleeping giant has awoken and began to slowly grab boxing by the the throat. This has seen fighters like Sergey Kovalev, Denis Lebedev, Evgeny Gradovich, Matt Korobov, Grigory Drozd and Khabib Allakhverdiev all make a name for themselves at, or around, the top of the professional ranks.
The next fighter from Russia attempting to move up a class is the unbeaten 27 year old Super Middleweight Fedor Chudinov (11-0, 9). Dubbed “The Classic” Chudinov is the younger brother of Dmitry Chudinov, the WBA interim Middleweight champion, and in the eyes of many Fedor is much better and more complete fighter.
This Thursday Fedor will be hoping to replicate his brother's interim success and claim the WBA interim Super Middleweight title. To do that however he will need to over-come the unbeaten Australian Ben McCulloch (14-0, 11), the recent PABA Super Middleweight champion.
For those who haven't seen Chudinov in action he is, as his record indicates, a heavy handed fighter. That was evident on his debut when he dropped Shawn Kirk with effectively his first real punch and Kirk was unable to, or rather unwilling to, beat the count. Within a year of his debut he was 4-0 (3) with only Cesar Ibarra managing to see the final bell. Although things progressed somewhat slowly over the following few years we've since seen Chudinov explode onto the scene with wins over the likes of Stjepan Bozic and the then unbeaten Andy Perez.
To date the only man to survive more than 5 rounds with Chudinov is the teak tough Jimmy Colas, an insanely tough French Light Middleweight. Despite being take then 10 rounds in that bout Chudinov won every round and showed he had stamina to go with his power.
With pressure and power it's fair to say Chudinov is a real threat to fighters at the lesser levels though we are awaiting to see how he copes with a fellow world class fighter, something we suspect we'll find out in 2016, that is if he wins his coming fight.
In McCulloch we have a somewhat unproven fighter though, like Chudinov, he appears to be a heavy handed fighter. Sadly however McCulloch's opposition so far has been terrible to say the least. The one time McCulloch was really tested was when he fought against Omar Shaick and was lucky to claim a split decision win. Since then McCulloch has faced some very limited opposition such as Yodkhunsuk Mor Poowana, who he fought back in August.
From what we've seen of McCulloch he has nothing to really put up a fight against Chudinov. That's not to say this isn't a step up for both men, though one man clearly has to be favoured over the other. Chudinov is much more proven than McCulloch and is fighting at home, appears heavier handed and is almost certainly going to be the more comfortable man in there, until McCulloch eventually folds.
(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.