Burbank, CA: Anatoliy "The Gladiator" Dudchenko (19-2, 13 KOs) has reunited with his former trainer Jesse Reid (whose training resume includes: Roger Mayweather, Johnny Tapia, Hector Camacho and many more) as he prepares to face Nadjib Mohammedi (34-3, 20 KOs) on June 21 for #1 eliminator in the IBF. The winner will face Bernard Hopkins for the IBF Championship. Dudchenko trained with Reid earlier in his career and, when he heard he was going to be fighting for the mandatory slot in the IBF, he returned to Reid to help prepare for the fight of his life.
Reid and Dudchenko are training at the Powerhouse Gym in Burbank, CA. According to Reid, "This camp is going very well. We sparred with a partner who has a similar style to Mohammedi - good speed and good head movement - we are working on controlling that." Preparation has been somewhat difficult, however, because Mohammedi has never fought in a televised bout, which made finding fight footage difficult for Reid and Dudchenko. Reid said, "We were able to find a couple of Mohammedi's fights online but we don't have too much on him. From what he have seen he doesn't look like he is a powerful guy. He gets in bad positions which we are going to try to capitalize on."
Dudchenko came to the United States in 2004 from the Ukraine because he felt it would help further his career and get him one step closer to a world title. He said, "I feel very good. I am so focused. This is the chance of my life. This is why I moved to United States. I like my chances. Sparring and training is going good. I worked with Jesse before and we had a great experience." When asked about his opponent, he said, "Mohammedi is a good fighter and I respect him. He's tough but to me it doesn't matter who I face because this is my chance of my life. I am not going to give it to anybody. This is a fight that people have to watch."
Despite the fact that this will be the biggest fight of "The Gladiator's" career, Reid thinks he is ready and can handle the pressure, "I think he can handle the pressure of knowing he is on NBCSN and that this is the biggest fight of his life. I think this is a guy (Mohammedi) that can't hurt him, which is good, but at the same time this is a guy who can match him with his speed. It is going to be interesting to see how Anatoliy carries himself. I trained Anatoliy earlier in his career and he knocked out a couple of guys while working with me and I am glad that I have him back. He is going to do extremely well and put on a great performance." Vince Caruso, Anatoliy's manager, added, "I have never seen Anatoliy more mentally prepared for a fight than he is right now. The 21st can't come soon enough. This fight is going to put his name on the map."