Fedor Chudinov vs Felix Sturm – Typical of Saturdays, Feb. 20 will be a busy day of boxing around the globe. The most compelling match will be held in Oberhausen, Germany, where Fedor Chudinov (14-0, 10 KOs) will defend his WBA 168-pound super world title in a rematch with veteran Felix Sturm (39-5-3, 18 KOs). The two formerly met on May 9, 2015 in Frankfurt. In a mild upset, Chudinov won the decision. The verdict was split, but most everyone thought that it should have been unanimous. Sturm has been inactive in the interim. Chudinov has had one outing. In September, he successfully defended his belt with a lopsided decision over Frank Buglioni in London.
Sturm, a former WBA and IBF world middleweight champion, made his pro debut in 2001 after representing Germany in the 2000 Olympiad. Nearly 12 years has elapsed since his “coming out” fight, a bout with Oscar de la Hoya in Las Vegas. Thought to be overmatched, Sturm fooled the experts, losing a narrow decision that many ringsiders scored a draw.
Fedor Chudinov, one of two fighting brothers from Bratsk, Russia (brother Dmitry Chudinov also competes in the 168-pound class), reportedly scored 170 wins as an amateur. In his first meeting with Sturm, he was the stronger fighter at the finish. Sturm blamed his defeat on unspecified personal problems, but the consensus of the experts was that Sturm was slowed by his advancing age and would have been better served by remaining at the middleweight level.
The early betting was lopsided in favor of the Russian. At last glance, Chudinov was a 3/1 favorite in man-to-man betting. The most likely scenario for the winner is a bout with Italy’s Giovanni De Carolis who holds a lesser version of the WBA world middleweight title (an absurdity) or a match with the winner of the forthcoming bout between Arthur Abraham and undefeated Gilberto Martinez. Abraham vs. Martinez is the chief supporting bout to the Pacquiao-Bradley rubber match in Las Vegas on April 9.
Check out The Boxing Channel‘s video with results and highlights.