By Alexey Sukachev
For the second time in as many months, a notable former champ from Russia ends a lengthy hiatus from the ring.
Former interim cruiserweight titlist Valery Brudov (39-4, 28 KOs) ends a 15-month break from the ring as he is scheduled to return June 27 at Giant Hall Parakhod in Pskov, Russia. His opponent for the eight-round main event will be newcomer Sergey Gorokhov (1-0, 1KO), whose pro debut took place at the same venue – two months to the day come fight night.
Brudov’s ring return comes on the heels of another big name having grown tired on the sidelines. Former 115 lb. titlist Dmitry Kirillov came out of retirement to lace ‘em up last month for the first time in nearly five years, stopping oft-used clubfighter Alexander Saltykov in four rounds this past May.
Next weekend’s headliner in Pskov marks Brudov’s first fight since suffering a fifth round stoppage at the hands of Ofa Afolabi in an interim title fight. All four losses on Brudov’s ledger have come at the title level (interim or otherwise). His first taste of the championship level came against Virgil Hill, dropping a wide unanimous decision to the two-division champ and now Hall of Fame fighter back in Jan ’06.
The lone win on the championship level for Brudov came later that December, stopping Luis Pineda in 11 rounds to win an interim cruiserweight belt, only to concede the crown in his lone defense after dropping a disputed decision to Firat Arslan just six months later.
Five wins and more than three years later, Brudov traveled halfway around the world for another bid at a title, only to suffer an 11th round injury stoppage at the hands of Panama’ Guillermo Jones.
A retirement announcement never came following the loss to Afolabi, but has served as the list bit of ring action Brudov has seen in the past 15 months. However, the 36-year believes he still has something to offer the sport, hence next weekend’s return.
Supporting action on the June 27 show will see another comeback, as heavyweight Maxim Maslov (10-1-1, 7KO) fights for the first time since March ’10. His return comes in a scheduled six-round affair against upside down journeyman Florian Strupits (2-26, 2KO).
The show is promoted by local organizer Igor Sudelainen.