By Karl Freitag
Saturday’s night’s NBCSN Fight Night telecast from Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania features a fight between two fighters who are basically unknown to the mainstream boxing fan. But promoter Kathy Duva believes the public will soon know all about light heavyweights Anatoliy Dudchenko (19-2, 13 KOs) and Nadjib Mohammedi (34-3, 20 KOs), who meet in a twelve-round eliminator for the #1 position in the IBF.
“Nobody knew who Sergio Kovalev was, nobody knew who Bryant Jennings was, nobody knew who Curtis Stevens was, I could go on an on,” said Duva. “Gabriel Rosado, Soto-Karass, the heavyweights we’ve been working with that have made an impact, Glazkov, the resurgence of the careers of guys like Steve Cunningham and Tomasz Adamek. There are so many fellas who have become world known, contenders, and real forces in the boxing business whether it’s a world champion like Kovalev or guys that keep coming back because they make great fights like Rosado. I think the next guy in that line is gonna be in this fight.”
Not only will the Dudchenko-Mohammedi winner be in line to challenge IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins, Duva expects the fight to be an entertaining affair.
“The style match-up here is excellent,” she stated. “Anatoliy was in a candidate for fight of the year when he fought over in Germany against Robert Woge. The experts on my staff are telling me the style Mohammedi has is going to be a perfect compliment to the way he fights.
“You’ve got kind of a brawling puncher against a boxer here, which usually makes for really interesting fights and they both have so much on the line. This is it. They’re one fight away from their dream of fighting for a world title. And whether they get that fight immediately or they get that fight three or four months further down the line than they hoped for, they still are getting what they want. They’re in the picture. They’re getting the world title fight. They’re getting what they’ve both been working toward.
“Usually when you put those elements together, you have a great night. We get a lot of those on our series Fight Night, and the reason is excellent matchmaking by Jolene Mizzone and Russell Peltz and I think the fact that you’re on such a big stage and there’s so much on the line. These fights have brought a lot of people to the public’s attention.”