MOSCOW, December 22 (R-Sport) – Undefeated Russian middleweight prospect Dmitry Chudinov has won his first title with a fierce technical knockout of Juan Camilo Novoa for the World Boxing Association’s interim middleweight belt.
Saturday’s win is a step toward a full world title fight for Chudinov, but his path is obstructed by a bizarre state of affairs under which three different versions of the WBA middleweight belt now exist.
Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovkin is the “super” champion, while the vacant “regular” title will be contested by Britain’s Martin Murray and Australia’s Jarrod Fletcher in February.
Chudinov’s interim title may mean he becomes a mandatory contender for the winner of that “regular” clash at some stage next year, but Chudinov's manager Vlad Hrunov suggested he would aim for former champions like Ricardo Mayorga, Jeff Lacy and Jermain Taylor instead.
Chudinov, 27, dominated Colombia’s Novoa in a six-round stoppage at the Dynamo Sports Palace in Moscow, turning up the heat in the fifth after some even opening rounds. Novoa survived until the sixth round, when he crumbled under a barrage from Chudinov, and the referee stopped the contest.
“I'm pleased that I’ve justified all the expectations,” Chudinov said. He branded Novoa’s style “a mess” and accused the Colombian of repeatedly punching below the belt. “I got caught by that once, so I really wanted to take revenge on him in a very harsh way,” he added.
Chudinov has won 12 professional fights and drawn two, including five wins and a draw in 2013, while the 32-year-old Novoa drops to 22-6-1 after suffering his first loss since 2010.
On the undercard, former four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. won by a unanimous decision over little-known French-Algerian fighter Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf. Jones, who has not fought for a major title since 2004, takes the obscure World Boxing Union cruiserweight belt.
Chudinov’s brother Fyodor was also in action at middleweight, taking the ninth win of his unbeaten career as he pounded Tanzania’s Francis Cheka, who retired after the third round.