A superb example of a fighter who is a “chinny banger,” Russian cruiserweight Dmitry Kudryashov, a warrior who possesses great heart along with his brutal punching power and brittle mandible, had a pretty rough 2019. Winning one and losing a fight last year – being stopped by Illunga Makabu in a real thriller, closely (controversially) decisioning Vaclav Pejsar in another rough battle – Kudryashov took plenty of punishment. Too much, we hope not.
An all-action fighter due to his weak chin/withering power combo, the 34 year old “Russian Hammer” really does have fans watching through sweaty fingers, with aching trepidation, each and every time he fights. And fans of Kudryashov (and who who has seen Dmitry fight has failed to be both thrilled and moved by his enormous courage?) will really be put through the ringer on May 6.
As per a report from REN TV in Russia, Kudryashov will rumble with countryman Ruslan Fayfer on May 6, in Rostov-on-Don. And while there will almost certainly be fireworks for however long or short the fight lasts, the hope here is Kudryashov doesn’t get badly hurt. Sure, with his savage power, Kudryashov could get the win, but the odds are against it.
Fayfer, highly ranked by the WBC, is younger than Kudryashov at age 28, he has a better chin, he can punch himself and he has taken far less punishment and has suffered far less wear and tear than his fellow Russian. At 25-1(16) – beaten only by Andrew Tabiti, via decision, in October of 2018 in a World Boxing Super Series encounter – Fayfer, who has fought up at heavyweight, seems to have pretty much every advantage going into the May fight.
Kudryashov, 24-3(23) is not a man to be written off, even if he has struggled mightily in his last few fights, but this is a high-high-risk fight for him. Maybe it’s a make or break affair. If he can pull off a win, Kudryashov is right back in the world title picture, but if he loses, as is most likely, it could be, maybe should be, the end.
As a blood and guts slugger of the highest order, it will be sad to see Kudryashov go. But his long-term health is far more important than one more shot at glory.