Chudinov, fighting in only his 13th contest, showed he fully belongs at the top level as the Russian out-fought Sturm to claim the belt recently taken from Briton Carl Froch due to a lack of activity by the Nottingham man.
After a tiring twelve rounds, Chudinov, 27, was handed the bout 118-110 and 116-112 on a couple of the scorecards, whilst a third judge saw it the way of German Sturm by a score of 116-112.
Also on the bill, Jack Culcay picked up the interim super welterweight title with the World Boxing Association after scoring a convincing triumph over compatriot Maurice Weber.
Highly-rated Culcay, 29, controlled most of the contest to see out a 118-110, 116-111 and 115-112 decision on the cards to improve his record to 20-1 and move closer to a clash with ‘regular’ champion Erislandy Lara.
Known as ‘Golden Jack,’ Culcay has come on strong since losing to Italian Guido Pitto controversially back in 2013, and having immediately rectified that result, has beaten every fighter he has faced thus far in his five and a half year career.
heavyweights Konni Konrad and Adnan Redzovic were victorious on the undercard, whilst Andreas Reimer stopped Mazen Girke in three.