'I need revenge!': Dmitrii Chudinov interview
After facing Azizbek Abdugofurov in May, Dmitrii Chudinov tells James Lupton that he is determined to land a rematch with Chris Eubank Jr...
From Russia to Spain, it's been some journey for Dmitrii Chudinov.
After winning the interim WBA middleweight world title in 2013, the ‘Night Wolf’ successfully defended his title on two occasions before being unravelled by Chris Eubank Jr, losing via 12th-round TKO at the O2 in London in February 2015.
After his maiden defeat Chudinov found himself fighting numerous ‘tick over’ fights before dropping a unanimous decision to veteran Lolenga Mock in January. By this point, it was clear the Bratsk-born boxer's career was in need of a serious change.
Cue a new manager and promoter in Al Siesta and Siesta Promotions, best known for guiding Mairis Briedis to world level success. Now Chudinov has fallen back in love with boxing.
“The year before [joining Al Siesta], I only had one fight in a year with my previous promoters but since changing my manager I would have had two fights in under six months," the 31-year-old told Boxing Monthly. "It’s nice to be active. Now I am feeling very positive because within three fights, my manager Al Siesta has created a title opportunity for me. [Chudinov fights for the WBC silver 168lbs strap on 5 May against Azizbek Abdugofurov]. I thank God and everybody who has supported me.
“I have to thank my manager Al Siesta first of all for presenting me with such a great opportunity. You know what - I almost finished my career as I lost my way in boxing. It was after I lost to Chris Eubank Jr, I was disappointed I picked up my first defeat. From there I had a few fights, but my heart wasn’t in it, I had forgotten the fundamentals of boxing and was not looking at the bigger picture.
“I then took the Lolenga Mock fight in Denmark after nearly a year out which I lost, but I am hungry again! I want to win and be a champion. Right now me and my team are doing a great job and we are doing everything to make sure I get the win in Tashkent on 5 May."
With the WBC silver title in their sights Chudinov's new team have taken a bold decision to step into the away corner against undefeated Abdugofurov.
“For me it’s a great opportunity to box in another country against a fighter who is one of the best in his country," Chudinov explained. "It’s a great championship fight for me; it’s why I prepare like a champion! I have fought all over the world, so going to Azizbek’s home to fight him is of no concern to me.
"For me it’s a great opportunity to fight a great boxer in his home country, I take great pride in that! Me and my team are out in Alicante, Spain preparing like champions for this fight. I have a good team, my coach and manager are all supporting me here as I prepare for Azizbek Abdugofurov, I’m very happy with the work we are doing. We are expecting good results!
“I have been training for over 20 years as a boxer, for the first time in my career I have changed everything. All these changes I am very happy with, I really like it! Once again I want to say a massive thank you to Mr Al Siesta for helping me make the right changes in my career. We have such a great team.”
In his last outing fighting on a World Boxing Super Series show in Germany, Chudinov faced a late change after his original opponent Nieky Holzken stepped up to face Callum Smith in the main event. However, such occurrences do not faze the Russian.
“One fight I had the opponent change four times on me in one night! But I am a boxer, it doesn’t matter who I fight. If you prepare properly to fight, it doesn’t matter who you are boxing.”
Chudinov is now training in Alicante with Roman Anuchin, who also trains Nikki Adler and Eduard Troyanovsky.
“I have never done the type of work I have been doing with Roman before in my career, we have never used my technique to its fullest before. But since working with Roman I feel we will see my boxing improve. I feel happy with the work we do, I’ve only been here a couple of weeks, but I feel like a different boxer. I like how it’s all coming together.
“I have been working with Roman Anuchin on many things and its having a real impact on my boxing, I am back in love with boxing again.”
Redemption is something that many fighters find themselves seeking after a loss. With this in mind, do his losses to Eubank Junior and Mock play on the mind of the ‘Night Wolf’?
“I don’t really want to look any further than 5 May in Tashkent, when I win it will improve my ranking and I can start to look at some massive fights. I certainly cannot look past Abdugofurov. [And]I have already started to feel the changes in the ring.
“[But] you know what; I have a recurring dream about one fighter who lives in the UK! It must happen one day; I need to prepare properly for that. When I win in Uzbekistan, I want a rematch with Chris Eubank Jr! I respect his father and him as a fighter, but I need revenge!”