There’s been a change in plans for the light heavyweight eliminator to produce one of the mandatory challengers for the winner of the April 19 unification fight between Bernard Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov.
Anatoliy Dudchenko (19-2, 13 KOs) and Dmitry Sukhotsky (21-2, 16 KOs) were supposed to meet in the eliminator on April 4 in Philadelphia on the undercard of the Steve Cunningham-Amir Mansour heavyweight fight.
However, Sukhotsky has pulled out of the fight and Dudchenko, a 35-year-old from Ukraine based in Los Angeles, is instead slated to face Nadjib Mohammedi (34-3, 20 KOs), 29, of France. The fight is tentatively scheduled to take place on June 21 (NBS Sports Net) at the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Main Events announced.
Main Events, which promotes Dudchenko, had won the purse bid for Sukhotsky-Dudchenko for $12,000. Sukhotsky probably pulled out because he was not happy with his $9,000 purse (the 75 percent of the winning purse bid he was due).
The fight will be Dudchenko’s first since signing with Main Events. He has won 16 fights in a row since losing two in a row in 2007 and 2008. Mohammedi will be fighting in the United States for the first time. He has won 10 fights in a row since Sukhotsky stopped him in the second round of a 2011 fight in Russia.
“Dudchenko is ready to fight anyone the IBF wants him to fight. We are working to make sure this fight gets done as soon as possible,” Main Events chief executive Kathy Duva said. “The IBF has ordered the winner of the Bernard Hopkins versus Beibut Shumenov matchup to fight the winner of this fight. So this is a very big opportunity for both fighters."