The pair meet on Feb.15 at the Copper Box Arena, east London, with local favorite Chisora (19-4, 13 knockouts) determined to ruin Rudenko’s perfect career stats.
The 25-year-old from Dnipropetrovsk is something of a knockout specialist, with 16 of his 24 victories finishing inside the distance. Inevitably, back home he is being championed as heir apparent to the country’s all-conquering heavyweight brothers, Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko
But Chisora, who two years ago lost on points to then-WBC holder and now retired Vitali, is on a four-fight winning streak and in a supremely confident frame of mind ahead of the clash, which is likely to be sanctioned as a European title defense.
Revealing the big plan for 2014 is to secure a crack at long-standing RING champion Wladimir, Chisora reckons blitzing Rudenko, who has fought outside Ukraine only once (in neighboring Belarus), will only help the cause.
“Happy New Year everyone and let this be the year that I get an opportunity at the world heavyweight title and bring it back to Britain,” said the 30-year-old contender from Finchley, north London. “Rudenko is a great start to the year for me. He’s a strong, powerful and undefeated challenger who’s got his own ambitions for the world title and will be coming over here to knock me out.
“I couldn’t get to the Klitschko brothers, they didn’t want to know about me. Vitali retired and vacated the title, but good luck to him and his political ambitions. I gave him a hard 12 rounds when we met and next time 'round he wouldn’t have come away with the title.
“Wladimir looks like he’ll be around for a little while longer and I’ve got unfinished business to settle with him. I want to get to him and finish him off. So for now I’m facing the Klitschko clone in Rudenko. This man can punch, he’s gone the last five years knocking everybody out apart from one, but he’s not carrying on with that run against me.
“The threat level goes up and so does my performance. I’ll be at my sharpest against him and you’ll see another destruction job from me. I’m at an ideal fighting weight, the flow of punches and power are coming together; the 2014 Dereck Chisora is going to be a real force to be reckoned with.”