You can call WBA super middleweight champion Fedor Chudinov (14-0, 10 KOs) a lot of things, but don’t call him for a bout with WBA, IBO and IBF middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs)—at least not yet. When asked about reports that he had been approached about a fight with the lineal 160-pound champion, Chudinov was brutally honest. Per Vadim Pushkin of Boxing Scene, Chudinov said:
“Yes, that fight was suggested to me. But my team decided that it was too early to fight with an opponent of this level. Of course I can just go into this fight, but I think I need another year or two to prepare, to gain experience. I would be very interested to face him. I’d like to do this in the future. Although there is one stumbling block—we are in different weight categories and if one of us decides to move to another weight class, the idea of the fight might be lost.”
The 28-year-old Russian upset longtime 168-pound champion Felix Sturm via split-decision in May 2015 to win the title in just his 12th professional bout. Four months later, he scored a unanimous-decision victory over Frank Buglioni in his first defense. On Saturday, February 20, Chudinov will rematch Sturm in Germany.
Those fights aren’t examples of cherry picking, but Chudinov clearly recognizes that Golovkin is on another level. The weight disparity he mentioned is a legitimate impediment. Because Golovkin would be the A-side in any negotiations with Chudinov, the Russian champion would almost certainly have to come down to 160 pounds to make the fight.
In his professional career, he has weighed in at or under 160 pounds just once. That took place in his second professional fight back in 2009. He’d be at a grave disadvantage coming down a weight class. Against an opponent like Golovkin, fighters can’t afford to come in less than their best. Because Chudinov is accustomed to fighting just under the 168-pound weight limit for super middleweights, the weight cut for a fight at 160 pounds could be brutal.
Perhaps Golovkin will decide to come up to 168 pounds at some point in the near future. There aren’t a ton of challenges for him at middleweight. If and when he unifies the titles at 160 pounds, Chudinov’s name may surface again as a potential opponent.
Perhaps the Russian will be ready for the challenge then.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.