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Felix Sturm to face Fedor Chudinov on May 9

Felix Sturm is back in the title mix, this time at 168 pounds.

Felix Sturm will look to put himself in line for a proper super middleweight title shot with a May 9 fight against Fedor Chudinov, which the WBA has sanctioned as an interim title fight.

The WBA super championship in the division is held by Andre Ward, the top 168-pound fighter in the world, but also inactive since November 2013, when he beat Edwin Rodriguez on HBO. Ward, 31, has fought just two times since 2011, and though he recently inked a new deal with Roc Nation after a legal battle with Goossen Tutor, Ward has nothing scheduled at the moment.

The “regular” — or “world” — championship of the WBA is held by Carl Froch, who is also on the shelf at the moment dealing with an injury. Froch has been stripped of his IBF title, and hasn’t fought since last May, when he knocked out George Groves in a huge rematch at Wembley Stadium.

Sturm (39-4-3, 18 KO) is a former multi-time middleweight titleholder and a WBA favorite, so his getting the call here is really no surprise. The 36-year-old German contender moved up to the division in a catchweight fight against former WBO titleholder Robert Stieglitz in November, fighting to a draw.

Chudinov (12-0, 10 KO) is a promising 27-year-old Russian prospect who won the interim title in December by beating Ben McCulloch in Moscow. He’s certainly at least a mild danger here, as Sturm is aging and clearly past his prime, though he’s also in turn become one of the more reliably entertaining fighters in the sport.

“I promised to make only big fights from now on,” Sturm said of the fight, set for Festhalle in Frankfurt. “Chudinov is seen as a highly talented and skilled boxer with a lot of punching power. But I will bring this belt home to Germany.”

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