Former Super WBA super middleweight champion Fedor Chudinov is still full of promise to face the elite of his weight class.
The very elite of the division consists of just two names: the Super WBA, WBC and WBO champion and the consensus P4P #1 ranked Mexican Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and undefeated IBF champion Caleb Plant from the United States. Canelo is specifically on the mind of the Russian fighter, who owns the gold version of the WBA belt.
To further prove his worth Chudinov (23-3-1, 16 KOs), who is also ranked #9 by the WBO and #11 by the WBC at 168 lbs, will face tough South African import Ryno Liebenberg (21-7-1, 14 KOs) over twelve rounds for the WBA Interim super middleweight title. The fight will crown a huge night of boxing, which is set to take place on June 4 in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second biggest city and its historical capital for over two hundred years. The show itself will be a part of the St. Petersburg’s International Economic Forum and will showcase some locally sound names.
“I consider chances for both fighters [to win] to be even”, commented Vladimir Hryunov, promoter of the entire event. “One British promoter asked me if we were crazy to take such a risky opponent in Ryno Liebenberg?! Ryno is a good, well-schooled boxer, who has always shown his high level of boxing against opponents of different stature and caliber”.
Chudinov, 33, is coming off a setback in February 2021, when he managed to get only a draw with the upset-minded Malawian fringe contender Isaac Chilemba. He had been on a good streak before that, scoring a late stoppage of 10-1 Umar Sadiq in September 2020, and getting four consecutive victories in 2019, including a shutout versus former titlist Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam. Chudinov’s greatest win, however, was a split decision road win over long-time middleweight champion Felix Sturm in May 2015, which brought him the full version of the black belt.
Liebenberg (21-7-1, 14 KOs), four years Chudinov senior, is on a two-fight winning streak, which includes the eighth-round stoppage of previously undefeated (12-0) compatriot Rowan Campbell for an assortment of regional belts and for the national title. An experienced fighter Liebenberg fought it tough against some names in his weight class, including split decision losses versus Thomas Oosthuizen and Enrico Koelling, as well as a draw against Nico Hannig.
In a co-main event, WBA Gold super flyweight champion Mikhail Aloyan (5-1) will risk his title for the first time in one-and-a-half years versus late Nicaraguan sub Ricardo Blandon (15-3, 9 KOs). Aloyan, 32, was first scheduled to collide with the South African boxer Lindile Tshemesi (13-3-2, 5 KOs).
“The African fighter was unable to take the fight for medical reasons”, said Aloyan’s famed coach Eduard Kravtsov. “Blandon is no pushover. He is an aggressive, hard-hitting fighter with hell of a character. It will be a nice mixture of styles between an aggressive, dirty swarmer and a stylist in Aloyan. Fights against Latin American boxers are always dangerous. We shall see what Misha is made of in this particular collision”.
Aloyan, a two-time world amateur champion (2011 and 2013) and 2012 London Olympics bronze medalist, had started his career with four consecutive wins over Nicaraguan opponents before an unsuccessful challenge of then-WBO bantamweight champion Zolani Tete in the first leg of the World Boxing Super Series second installment. He took a year off before outpointing Panamanian Ronal Batista for the WBC Gold belt in December 2019. Blandon, 29, has never been stopped before but he has never ever fought outside of his native land too.
Rapidly rising Russian light welterweight Khariton Agrba (5-0, 2 KOs) was also scheduled to face a different opponent in former WBA regular super featherweight titlist Rene Alvarado but ended clashing against Peruvian fighter Jesus Bravo (19-3-1, 17 KOs). This fight is scheduled for ten rounds.
Several young Russian prospects will see action in the undercard of the event, including:
• Light Middleweight Pavel Sosulin (4-0, 1 KO) who battles Estonian veteran Pavel Semjonov (24-16-2, 9 KOs) over eight rounds.
• Another light middleweight Igor Ivanchenko (4-0, 2 KOs) who takes on well-travelled Colombian import Jose Agustin Feria (24-11, 16 KOs) – also for eight rounds.
• Lightweight amateur stalwart Alexey Mazur (2-0, 1 KO) versus Georgian import Achiko Odikadze (22-16-1, 8 KOs) – for six rounds.
• Another lightweight Ilya Popov, who makes his pro debut against undefeated Georgian Giorgi Gogatishvili (5-0, 2 KOs) – for six rounds.
• Uzbek heavyweight Lazizbek Mulojonov (1-0, 1 KO) versus Estonian veteran and former Baltic Boxing Union super middleweight titlist (14-14-1, 12 KOs) – also for six rounds.
The entire event will be co-organized by promoter Vladimir Hryunov, the Russian Boxing Federation, the St. Petersburg Boxing Federation, and the St. Petersburg’s Foundation for Boxing and Sportive Wrestling Support. The tournament will be aired live by the MatchTV, starting at 3:30 PM LT.