Boxing star Isaac ‘Golden Boy’ Chilemba has taken a double risk of accepting a late offer for a non-title fight in a different category against Fedor Chudinov in Russia on March 21 2020.
“Yesterday [Wednesday], I just signed a fight contract scheduled for 21st this month. It is a last minute fight as we only got an offer on Tuesday. But even though it only gives me two weeks to prepare, I know I will be ready,” the 32-year-old said yesterday.
The South Africa-based Malawian boxer belongs to the light heavyweight category which ranges from 76.20 to 79.36 kilogrammes (kg), but is up against the Russian who belongs to the super middle weight (72-76.20 kg).
“If I win this fight, I will be back into the top 10; then I will have a chance of a world title shot again. The only challenge I will face is making weight. The fight will be at super middleweight, which is one division below my division (light heavyweight),” Chilemba said.
To make that weight category, the Malawian will try to reduce his weight by, among others, training harder and maintaining a good diet. A Russian promoter has organised the non-title bout.
That Chilemba has accepted to face Chudinov is not surprising as he also took on Russian Alexander Kubich in a non-title cruiser weight fight in Greece on December 15 2019.
“Last time I fought at super middleweight was in 2010 when I fought Tommy Oosthuizen in defence of the IBO world championship. Since then, I have been at light heavyweight and in my last fight, I went even heavier to cruiserweight.
So dropping weight to 76kg will be a bit of a challenge but I know that I will make it and I will be ok.
“I’m fighting Chudinov who is ranked third in the world at super middleweight. He has 25 wins and one loss to one of the best, multiple world champion [George Groves]. So defeating him will be one of the major comebacks in my career.
The fight is in Russia and I’m looking forward to it!” he said.
Chilemba, who is a World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight challenger, is ranked 23rd and has set himself a target of winning a world title this year.
Last year, he had mixed fortunes. He lost on points to Maksim Vlasov at Centre Square in Russia during the then vacant Eurasian Boxing Parliament light-weight title before bouncing back to beat Kubich.
Chilemba has in his career won 27 fights, lost seven and drawn twice.
American firm Main Events promotes Chilemba whose trainer is Joddie Solomon with Roy Jones Junior as the second trainer.
The Malawian has won international belts such as International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association, World Boxing Organisation and Africa Boxing Union.