Zhang Zhilei Out-Boxes Rudenko, Cruises To Unanimous Decision

Zhang Zhilei got in some much-needed rounds Saturday against an opponent who’s never been stopped.

The huge Chinese southpaw soundly defeated Andriy Rudenko by unanimous decision in a 10-round heavyweight fight at Casino de Monte Carlo in Monte Carlo. The 36-year-old Zhilei comfortably beat Rudenko on all three scorecards (99-91, 98-92, 97-93) to remain unbeaten.

The 6-feet-6, 278-pound Zhilei (21-0, 16 KOs) buzzed Rudenko with a straight left hand with just over a minute to go in the third round, but he couldn’t finish off the durable Ukrainian veteran.

zhang-zhilei (6)

Zhilei, who fought for the first time in 14 months, landed an array of power punches and kept Rudenko on his back foot during a dominant fifth round. Rudenko was offensive enough to keep Zhilei honest for much of the second half of their bout, but Zhilei landed hard shots that affected Rudenko in the final two rounds.

Zhilei, a 2008 Olympic silver medalist, drilled Rudenko with a straight left hand around the midway mark of the ninth round. He also wobbled Rudenko by landing a right hook with just under two minutes to go in the 10th and final round.

Rudenko survived to the final bell, but he didn’t do much overall to test Zhilei, who went past the sixth round for the first time in his five-year pro career.

Zhilei had cracked the WBO’s top 15 prior to this lengthy layoff.

He remained out of the ring for so long due in large part to visa issues that kept him out of the U.S. for nearly a year. Zhilei lives in northern New Jersey when he trains for fights.

The 36-year-old Rudenko (32-5, 20 KOs) took this fight on barely one week’s notice, once Sergey Kuzmin pulled out of it. Kuzmin (15-1, 11 KOs) would’ve represented a step up in competition for Zhilei, but he suffered a foot injury that forced him to withdraw from their fight last week.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by joe strong on 12-01-2019

Decent win but Rudenko probably wasn’t in the best of shape. Zhilei needs to make his move soon as he is 36.

Comment by Tecnoworld on 11-30-2019

Kuzmin would have been a much better competitor. Anyway zhang is big and powerful yet a bit slow. He could be a contender for the top 20, but he has to hurry at 36.

Top Headlines
Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez Come Together - Up Next? Roger Gutierrez Wins Decision, Cristian Baez Battered in Shocker Crawford vs. Kavaliauskas - CompuBox Punch Stats Crawford vs. Kavaliauskas - Official Scorecards Crawford Drops Kavaliauskas Three Times, Stops Him in Nine Crawford vs. Kavaliauskas - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Teofimo Lopez Crushes Richard Commey in Two For IBF Title Richard Commey-Teofimo Lopez - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Michael Conlan Gets Revenge, Decisions Vladimir Nikitin Michael Conlan-Vladimir Nikitin - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Josue Vargas Beats Up Noel Murphy, Wins Unanimous Decision Porter: I Believe Manny Pacquiao Is More Defining Fight For Me Commey: Lopez Will Learn The Hard Way How Badly I've Wanted This Fight Berlanga Batters Nunez, Extends 1st-Round KO Streak To 13 Julian Rodriguez Drops Mendez In First, Cruises To Points Win DiBella: Teofimo's A Great Prospect, But Not Ready For Commey Teofimo Lopez: I'm Coming To Destroy Everyone's Dreams! Kambosos Drops Mickey Bey In 10th; Wins By Split Decision Bolotniks, Conroy, Michel, Burton Advance in MTK Golden Contract Terence Crawford Claps Back at Critics: They Look Stupid! Jose Ramirez Extends Promotional Pact With Top Rank Commey: I Couldn't Ask For A Bigger Stage Than This Arum Saw Teofimo Lopez as Hidden Gem When He Signed Him Porter On Crawford Fight: Bob Arum Is Jumping The Gun Kavaliauskas: My Draw With Ray Robinson Was 'Bullsh-t' Teofimo Lopez: I Love When People Talk Sh-t, Underestimate Me Arum: The Problem In Boxing Is We Can't Sell Tickets To Fights Conlan: I'm Ready To Go Out There & Destroy Nikitin! IBF Second Day Weights: Commey 144, Lopez 144.4 Terence Crawford: 154 is Not in My Immediate Future Teofimo Lopez: I Know For A Fact Commey Didn't Want This Fight Arum: Crawford-Spence Deal Done in Hour Once Spence Healthy Daily Bread Mailbag: Joshua-Ruiz II, Crawford, Harrison-Charlo II Edgar Berlanga Aims For Statement Win on Crawford Card MTK Golden Contract: Hosea Burton, Out Of The Wilderness Peter Fury Warns: Pulev Will Not Be Easy For Anthony Joshua Joshua: Fight With Wilder-Fury Winner Must Happen in 2020 Narek Agbaryan, Gor Yeritsyan Pick Up Wins in Moscow MTK Golden Contract: Steven Ward, Different Demons Will Commey or Lopez Take Home Saturday’s Heisman Trophy Over Crawford?
Latest Forum Threads