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Chudinov beats Sturm, captures vacant WBA 168lb title

By Scott Gilfoid: In a huge blow to the career of former IBF/WBA/WBO middleweight champion Felix Sturm (39-5-2, 18 KOs), he was beaten by WBA interim 168 pound champion Fedor Chudinov (13-0, 10 KOs) by a 12 round split decision on Saturday night in their fight for the vacant WBA super middleweight title at the Festhalle in Frankfurt, Germany.

The final judges’ scores were 118-110, 116-112 for Chudinov, and 116-112 for Sturm. Chudinov dominated the last four rounds of the fight over the tiring Sturm. Up until the 9th round, it was a really close fight, but Sturm ran out of gas and wasn’t able to sustain the fast pace that Chudinov set.

With Chudinov throwing constant punches, it put Sturm in the position where he had to keep fighting hard or else he would have taken a beating. Sturm couldn’t match Chudinov’s work rate, so he attempted to win rounds by jabbing in the last part of the fight. That obviously wasn’t going to do the job given that Chudinov was landing a lot of heavy shots.

In the 1st round, Sturm bum rushed Chudinov and attempted to blow him away with a flurry of shots. For the entire round both guys traded huge shots with Chudinov getting the better of Sturm. But it was interesting to see Sturm trying to destroy a slugger like Chudinov by playing his own game. It didn’t work and all it did was give the younger, stronger Chudinov and opportunity to land a lot of big punches.

Chudinov didn’t have much in the way of hand speed, but he clearly had heavy hands. You could hear the difference between the powers of the two fighters each time Chudinov would land with his left-right combinations. It was a loud thudding sound each time he would connect to the sides of Sturm’s head. Chudinov mostly threw wide shots rather than straight punches because Sturm always had his gloves in front of his face.

Sturm’s loss to Chudinov throws a monkey wrench in the big plans for him to face WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham in what would have been a big money unification match in Germany. This was a fight that both guys were reportedly interested in, and it would made them both a lot of money. Abraham and Sturm can still probably make the fight, but it obviously won’t have as much meaning without Sturm having the WBA 168 pound title in his possession and with him coming off a loss to Chudinov.

The popular junior middleweight Jack Culcay (20-1, 11 KOs) defeated Maurice Weber (21-2-1, 8 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision to win the interim WBA junior middleweight crown. The final judges’ scores were 115-112, 116-111 and 118-110. Culcay did the better work of the two, which isn’t saying much because Weber did not look good. Culcay has his work cut out for him if he wants to win the WBA 154 pound title because the current WBA champion Erislandy Lara would appear to be a much better fighter in my book.

Other boxing results on the card:

Andreas Reimer TKO 3 Mazen Girke
Adnan Redzovic RTD 3 Bekim Pagga

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