It has been more than a month since World Boxing Association (WBA) world cruiserweight champion Beibut Shumenov (16-2, 10 KOs), based on the much publicized WBA Cruiserweight Tournament rules and regulations, petitioned the WBA to either declare a purse bid for a title fight between WBA Super cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev, or strip Lebedev of his title belt for being non-compliant.
Last July, Shumenov defeated B.J. Flores by way of a 12-round unanimous decision to become the WBA mandatory challenger for Lebedev, who hasn’t fought a mandatory defense since April 10, 2015.
The WBA issued a resolution this past April that Lebedev, who defeated Victor Emelio Ramirezin May to also become International Boxing Federation cruiserweight champion, must fight Shumenov within 120 days of the latter’s May 21, 2016 knockout victory over Junior Wright.
On record for making changes to insure only one world champion in each division, incredibly, the WBA presently has 38 different world title belt holders in only 17 different weight classes. Only three WBA divisions have one world champion - super lightweight, lightweight and light flyweight - and eight have three world titlists, including its cruiserweight division, which presently has world champions in Lebedev, Shumenov and Interim champion Yunier Dorticos, who is the WBA second mandatory challenger.
In an apparent public relations move, the WBA has suddenly declared this month a rash of mandatory defenses, however, declaring and actually making these title fights are two different things, as Shumenov has unfortunately learned. The WBA should have ordered a Lebedev vs. Shumenov purse bid on June 21, 2016, when the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement, but the WBA failed to do so. When Shumenov repeated his request for a purse bid in June, the WBA failed once again to act.
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July 23, 2016