Nadjib Mohammedi is now in line for a shot at the IBF light heavyweight title held by Bernard Hopkins, as he overpowered and dominated a flat-looking Anatoliy Dudchenko tonight on NBC Sports Network in an eliminator bout at the Mohegan Sun Casino.
Mohammedi (35-3, 21 KO) landed right hand after right hand on Dudchenko (19-3, 14 KO), statistically overwhelming his opponent on the punch stats, landing 137 of 357 total shots (38%), including 50/156 jabs (32%) and 87/201 power shots (43%). Dudchenko, on the other hand, landed just 28 of 200 total punches (14%), including 8 of 113 jabs (7%) and 20 of 87 power shots (23%).
The stats weren't needed, though, as the fight told its own very clear story. Mohammedi completely smoked Dudchenko tonight, with a right hand that couldn't miss, as the Ukrainian looked like he'd never even considered preparing for that shot. The finishing moments in round seven were pretty brutal, as Mohammedi landed at will until the fight was finally and quite mercifully stopped.
Mohammedi, 29, is a solid mid-tier light heavyweight in reality, though the hope will be that this win can be sold as something more if and when he actually gets to face Hopkins, who at 49 has a goal to unify all four light heavyweight title belts. B-Hop's next target is thought to be WBC and Ring Magazine champ Adonis Stevenson, with the winner of that holding everything but the WBO belt held by Sergey Kovalev.
That said, if Hopkins beats Stevenson, he will at some point have to take care of a fight with Mohammedi in order to keep his IBF belt, so that fight could very easily happen, or Stevenson-Mohammedi could very easily happen, too.
On the undercard, lightweight prospect Karl "Dynamite" Dargan stayed unbeaten with a TKO-5 win over Anthony Flores. Dargan (16-0, 8 KO) is 29 and a seven-year pro, but he's really yet to beat anyone of any note. Flores (11-5-1, 6 KO) was pretty much the usual level of opponent he's faced thus far, and it's worth wondering about Dargan's upside at this point.