Though he has suffered a number of defeats and has taken some serious punishment in the ring, 36 year old former cruiserweight world title challenger Dmitry Kudryashov is not quite done yet. Snapping a two-fight losing streak on June 11, in a fight that very much flew under the radar, the bearded slugger fought as a heavyweight for the second time. Facing a limited opponent in Vagab Vagabov in Moscow, Kudryashov, who came in extremely heavy at 253 pounds, stopped his novice-like foe in the opening round.
Vagabov, just 3-0 coming in, went right at Kudryashov, likely thinking he could exploit his less than sturdy chin, but the older, far more experienced man made him pay with a hard and fast left hand that dropped Vagabov. The game Vagabov got back up but he was then dropped by a right hand to the head, the shot ending the fight at just :45 seconds of the opening round. Kudryashov is now 24-5(23).
It’s unclear where, if anywhere Kudryashov can go from here, but this classic example of what a ‘chinny banger’ is, is nothing if not exciting. Also, Kudryashov has plenty of heart and guts, as he showed in taking everything Evgeniy Romanov could throw at him in his other heavyweight fight (the fight actually taking place at bridgerweight), this a decision loss for Kudryashov in May of last year.
At one point, Kudryashov looked like a future world champion, his quick destruction jobs on Juan Carlos Gomez and Francisco Palacios being eye-catching KO wins. But that was back in 2014/2015. Since then, Kudryashov has been stopped by Olanrewaju Durodola (the loss later avenged), Yunier Dorticos, and Ilunga Makabu (in an absolute thriller that saw both men ship punishment).
As exciting as he is and as brave (too brave) as he is, it’s easy to root for Kudryashov. Here’s hoping he can pick up some decent paydays while not getting badly hurt. It’s anyone’s guess as to how much Kudryashov can achieve up at heavyweight.