Monday, March 27, 2023  |


Kudryashov confident going into high-stakes Durodola rematch


Cruiserweight sluggers Dmitry Kudryashov and Olanrewaju Durodola meet in a rematch on Saturday in Rostov, Russia, 19 months after their first wild shootout.

The stakes are high, the winner will become WBC cruiserweight titlist Mairis Briedis’ mandatory challenger.

Kudryashov (20-1, 20 knockouts) is keen to avenge the only loss on his pro resume.

“I think only about getting into the ring to be preparing and winning this fight.” Kudryashov told through translator Vasily Kostenko.

When the two met in November 2015, Durodola (25-3, 23 KOs) hurt the Russian and backed him into the ropes landing a fusillade of hard right hands, prompting referee Jay Nady to intervene and halt the proceedings in the second round.

Since then Kudryashov has won two fights and is unperturbed by what happened in their last meeting.

“Well, what’s there to think?” he asked rhetorically. “I stumbled, fell, but got up, shook myself off and went on.”

Having shared a ring with the explosive Nigerian, albeit briefly, Kudryashov has some understanding of what will be across the ring from him this weekend.

“We are working on the strengths and weaknesses of my opponent,” he said somewhat coyly. “And the result of this work I think will be visible on June 3 in the ring. More details about this can be after the fight.”

The heavy-handed Volgodonsk resident has based himself 600 kilometers south in Kislovodsk. He has used several different sparring partners including former world title challenger Youri Kalenga – who, along with the other sparring partners – have a similar style to Duradola.

Kudryashov is acutely aware of how big this fight is.

“This fight is of great importance to me not only because I will become an mandatory challenger, but also because I lost to Durodola and I want to take revenge,” he said. “So far, all my thoughts are only about the upcoming fight.”

What will the difference be this time?

“I’ll knockout Durodola,” he said.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright