Home News Mohammedi defeats Dudchenko, in mandatory position to fight Bernard Hopkins

Mohammedi defeats Dudchenko, in mandatory position to fight Bernard Hopkins

Credit: Rich Graessle / Main Events

In the main event of NBC Sports Fight Night last weekend, Nadjib Mohammedi (36-3, 21 KOs) stopped Anatoliy “The Gladiator” Dudchenko (18-3, 12 KOs) in the seventh round, oddly putting him in position as the IBF’s mandatory challenger for titleholder Bernard Hopkins.

In the early rounds between Dudchenko and Mohammedi, the French boxer came out swinging against his Ukrainian opponent. Mohammedi was chasing down the larger Dudchenko and landing some clean shots. Anatoliy was getting caught in the corners and Mohammedi was taking advantage of the opportunity to have the big man against the ropes. Nadjib was relentless in his attack on Anatoliy.

“The Gladiator” suffered a cut on the top of his nose and Mohammedi came out of the gates swinging in the seventh to put the final touches on the fight. The referee called the fight only 37 seconds into the seventh round. Anatoliy said afterwards, “I felt really spent after the first round. I had no energy; I was really weak. I tried too hard to kill him. Maybe I peaked too early. I kept missing some really hard shots. I think I just gave the other guy confidence.”

Dudchenko landed only 14% (28 of 200) of his punches whereas Mohammedi connected substantially more of his throws, 38% (137 of 357). The average punches per round for Dudchenko were 3 for 13 but Mohammedi’s average punches per round were 13 of 30.

After the fight Nadjib declared, “My name is Nadjib Mohammedi and I am the best. I was good tonight. I am the best. Nobody expected me to be the great fighter tonight but I was the better man. I am ready for Bernard Hopkins and we are going to take that fight too. We are coming back.”

Undefeated lightweight Karl “Dynamite” Dargan (16-0, 8 KOs) retained his USBA Atlantic Coast Region Title by knocking out fellow Philadelphian Anthony “Flawless” Flores (11-5-1, 6 KOs) in the fifth round.

Dargan came out in the first connecting well with the jab. Flores was coming forward but was unable to connect against the elusive Dargan. “Dynamite” was showing a lot of hand speed and landing a lot of clean shots. Karl was just too quick for Flores. “Flawless” was throwing a lot of punches but was unable to connect. Dargan managed to cut Flores under his left eye in the second. Karl came out with a vengence in the fifth round sending Flores to the canvas. “Flawless” managed to get back on his feet but only for a couple of seconds before the referee called the fight a TKO.

Flores landed 17% of his punches (51 of 308) while Dargan landed 39% (80 of 205). The biggest disparity between the two fighters was their jab. Dargan landed 30% (26 of 87) of his jabs while Flores only managed to connect with 6% (10 of 172) of his jabs against the elusive and faster Dargan.

After the TKO Dargan told the crowd, “I can handle pressure well. After my last fight the media and the fans were saying I should have knocked him out. Tonight I showed I can do it. He didn’t surprise me. I came out of camp prepared to fight any style. He didn’t hurt me at all. I am a shark in the water and I saw blood. I want to fight anyone who stands in the way of my next title.”

Local favorite, Erik Spring, of Reading, PA defeated Jamil “The Brick City Brawler” Gadsden in four rounds of junior middleweight action via unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout (40-36) in favor of Spring.

Undefeated light welterweight sensation Wellington “Arias” Romero (4-0, 2 KOs) of Newburgh, NY kept his perfect record alive knocking out Mack “Truck” Babb (0-3) of Brooklyn, NY in the second round and securing New York State bragging rights.

Cuban native Sullivan “El Mas Talentoso (The Most Talented)” Barrera (12-0, 7 KOs) kept his undefeated record in tact as he took down the previously undefeated Lee “The Silverback” Campbell (7-1, 3 KOs) of Laurenburg, NC with a sixth round TKO. This is Sullivan’s second victory since signing with Main Events earlier this year. He said, “I feel good. I am very happy. We broke his zero. My team has worked hard. We are ready for any competition out there; if it is Chilemba I am ready.”

In the first fight of the evening two “Jersey Boys” made their pro debut in four rounds of junior middleweight action. Hakim “Braveheart” Bryant (1-0) of Middletown, NJ came away with a unanimous decision victory (39-37, 40-36 and 40-36) over Al “TNT” Johnson (0-1) of Vineland, NJ.