Celebrated South Africa-based Malawian boxer Isaac ‘Golden Boy’ Chilemba has suffered a fresh setback ahead of his fight against Russian Fedor Chudinov following extended Covid-19 restrictions in both countries.
Chilemba, a former IBO world champion and his highly-rated Russian opponent had earmarked August for their non-title bout.
But in an interview from his Johannesburg base yesterday, the ‘Golden Boy’ said: “There has been a fresh setback. Now that both Russia and South Africa have raised and extended restrictions, that has just pulled us further back.
“Nevertheless, I’m still hoping to have the fight this year, but for now, we are still waiting.”
Earlier this month, Chilemba rejected July 27 as proposed by Chudinov’s team.
He said his team rejected the date because he needed more time to work on fitness following the lockdown in South Africa.
Chilemba, 33, said he has intensified his preparations for the bout.
“It’s all looking good and I am picking up. It has been quite a while since I stepped into the ring, but I am getting there,” he said.
Initially, they were supposed to fight on March 21 in Russia, but it was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The two are expected to fight in super middleweight which is a division below Chilemba’s usual light heavyweight and is currently working on shedding weight.
He boasts 26 wins (10 TKOs), seven losses (one TKO) and two draws while Chudinov, who is also 33, boasts 25 wins and a loss to multiple world champion George Groves.
Chilemba won his last bout on unanimous points decision against another Russian Alexander Kubich in Greece last December.