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Saturday, January 30, 2021

Chilemba to Face Chudinov

Isaac Chilemba is schedule to face Fedor Chudinov on February 20 in Russia. This bout was originally scheduled for March 21, 2020 but was postponed indefinitely due to travel restrictions relating to covid-19.

Because of the pandemic, Chilemba (26-7-2, 10 KOs) hasn't fought since December 2019 when he beat Alexander Kubich in Greece. Chilemba weighed 188.25 pounds for that fight. The fight with Chudinov is reportedly a super middleweight bout, which  means the 32 year old from Malawi will have to come in under twenty pounds lighter for this contest.

Chudinov (23-2, 16 KOs) is a 33 year old pressure fighter from Russia. As mentioned in last year's preview of the fight, Chudinov's career includes losses to Felix Sturm and George Groves, but defeats of Nadjib Mohammedi and Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam.

The 5'9" battler fought Umar "Top Boxer" Sadiq last September 11. BoxRec lists the location as Russia, but according to video evidence of the fight it might have taken place in an alternate universe where coronavirus doesn't exist as mostly maskless fans packed into the Khimki Basketball Center. Chudinov started slowly, plodding forward as Sadiq outboxed him in the early rounds. Fedor heated up in the fifth and Sadiq faded soon after before catching a second wind. Chudinov landed the harder punches and in the twelfth, he caught Sadiq in the corner and unloaded a blizzard of shots which forced the referee to step in and stop it.

While Sadiq, a resident of the United Kingdom, is a talented and athletic boxer who effectively uses quick feet and upperbody movement, he doesn't possess the superior technique or experience of Chilemba. Umar used up too much jittery energy early avoiding Chudinov's pressure and left himself open after touching the Russian. This was Sadiq's first fight outside of the UK and only his twelfth pro fight.

Chilemba, who has fought nearly all the best light heavyweights of his era, is always self-contained in the ring. He is an expert defensive fighter, a good jabber, and a precise counterpuncher, which could make for an effective style against Chudinov. Younger than his opponent, Chilemba has nonetheless been in many more tough fights, experienced a long layoff, and is traveling halfway around the world to Russia in the dead of winter, so there is a possibility that he comes out flat. He had a five inch height advantage and his reach is an inch longer.

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