It was always going to be a tall order for Umar Sadiq and so it ultimately proved, as he was stopped in the twelfth and final round of his WBA Gold Super Middleweight title bid against Fedor Chudinov in Russia.
The first half of the contest belonged to ‘Top Boxer’ as he got the better of some punishing exchanges, but this type of fight was only going to be energy sapping, as the fight went on.
Chudinov (23-2, 16 KOs) was unbeaten in eight going into this one, having last tasted defeat in May 2017, when George Groves stopped him in six in a vacant WBA ‘Super’ Super-Middleweight title tilt.
Sadiq (10-2, 6 KOs) was last seen in February, outscoring Kody Davies at York Hall, handing the Welshman his first professional defeat.
Taking the fight at two weeks notice, Sadiq didn’t disgrace himself in defeat against the former world champion, but eventually the pressure and fatigue told, as the Ilford man tired down the stretch.
It was a typical Chudinov fight, with plenty of close quarters action, and powerful shots exchanged.
By the final session, Sadiq had emptied his tank, and Chudinov, 32, sensed the time was right to finish the job.
The home fighter trapped his opponent in the corner and unloaded a series of unanswered shots, some landing, some missing.
This was enough though for referee Yuri Koptsev to intervene, in what looked like a slightly premature stoppage at the time.
The official was vindicated though, as Sadiq collapsed in the corner.
The 32-year-old thankfully came round, but reports in Russia post-fight suggest he was hospitalised later on in the evening, after coughing up blood and requiring oxygen.
The undercard, in what was a bizarre evening’s entertainment in Russia saw 40-year-old Sergei Kharitonov, who’s ringwalk was proceeded by a bear entering the arena, made his professional boxing debut in what was a gross mismatch against Danny Williams.
Kharitonov had recently been competing in MMA and scored a second round stoppage win here against the a very shot, 47-year-old Danny Williams.
This was the same Williams who once beat Mike Tyson and challenged for the WBC Heavyweight world title against Vitali Klitschko in 2004.
Those days seem a lifetime ago now, as the Brit travels all over Europe, mainly as the opponent.
This fight was a hard watch, as the Russian was allowed to carefully select his shots against what was a static target, knocking Williams down in the opening round.
The end came towards the conclusion of the second, when Kharitonov landed an uppercut followed by a left hook that forced Williams to stagger backwards across the ring.
Kharitonov stopped to motion to the referee to halt the contest and after a short delay, the referee waved the fight off, in what was a sad spectacle.