I believe in Junior's ability - Damien Durandt

Dmitry "Russian Hammer" Kudryashov and Ilunga "Junior" Makabu will meet in the vacant WBC Silver cruiserweight bout on Sunday in Russia.
Dmitry "Russian Hammer" Kudryashov and Ilunga "Junior" Makabu will meet in the vacant WBC Silver cruiserweight bout on Sunday in Russia.

Bones could crack when hard hitters and knockout artists Ilunga "Junior" Makabu and Dmitry "Russian Hammer" Kudryashov collide for both the vacant WBC Silver cruiserweight belt and the No1 spot in the ratings on Sunday in Russia.

Both boxers have almost identical fight records. Makabu has knocked 23 of his 24 victims with two losses, both by stoppages, while Kudryashov has 23 knockouts in 23 wins and was in turn knocked out twice.

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The winner will earn the rights to challenge newly-crowned WBC and WBO cruiserweight titlist between WBC Diamond champion Maries Bridies from Latvia and Krzysztof Glowacki from Poland who will battle for those vacant titles in Latvia on Saturday.

The WBC belt was relinquished by Oleksandr Usyk who has moved up to the heavyweight division.

Makabu, 31, currently holds the WBC international belt. Kudryashov, 33, last fought in September.

Makabu was trained by the late Nick "Mthakathi" Durandt, whose son Damien took over when his father retired in 2016.

Speaking from Romania, where Makabu has been preparing for the past 10 weeks, Durandt said: "We are fighting a top cruiserweight who is a big puncher.

"Kudryashov lacks endurance, because he has not gone past seven rounds and the longer the fight goes, the stronger Junior becomes.

"Besides that, I strongly believe in Junior's boxing ability. Junior has got speed, power and experience. Both fighters have been on the canvas, but I maintain that Junior's hand speed, power and experience will be the deciding factor in this fight. I feel the fight will go a short route in favour of Junior."

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