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Beibut Shumenov to fight as cruiserweight on Alexander-Khan card

14
Nov
Beibut Shumenov (L) fighting Bernard Hopkins in March 2014. Shumenov lost his WBA light heavyweight title by split decision. Photo by Naoki Fukuda.

Beibut Shumenov (L) fighting Bernard Hopkins in March 2014. Shumenov lost his WBA light heavyweight title by split decision. Photo by Naoki Fukuda.

 

Former WBA light heavyweight titleholder Beibut Shumenov will make his cruiserweight debut against Bobby Thomas on the Dec. 13 Devon Alexander-Amir Khan undercard, Golden Boy Promotions announced on Thursday.

In his last bout, Shumenov (14-2, 9 knockouts) lost his belt by a unanimous decision to Bernard Hopkins, who was also the IBF beltholder at the time. Hopkins lost his titles by unanimous decision to WBO counterpart Sergey Kovalev last Saturday.

“I look forward to Dec. 13 and pursuing a world cruiserweight title with [manager] Al Haymon in my corner,” said Shumenov, 31, a 2004 Olympian for Kazakhstan. “I’m happy to be fighting again and moving up to the cruiserweight division. I don’t have to struggle now to lose 50-plus pounds to make weight for my fights.”

In preparation, Shumenov has begun to work with Cuban coach Ismael Salas, who has also trained titleholders such as Guillermo Rigondeaux, Yuriokis Gamboa, Danny Green, Jessie Vargas and Jorge Linares.

“I’ve had a lot of changes after my last fight,” said Shumenov, who now lives in Las Vegas. “I trained myself for the last three fights, but now, I have added a great trainer, Ismael Salas, to my team.”

In winning the WBA title against Gabriel Campillo in 2010, Shumenov established a record for the 175-pound division by earning the belt in just his 10th professional bout. In his first defense he scored a unanimous decision over Vyacheslav Uzelkov, who had knocked out Campillo in 2007. His fifth and final defense was a third-round stoppage over Tomas Kovacs last December.

Thomas (14-2), a 33-year-old from West Virginia, has won two straight, four- and ten-round decisions, since falling by second-round knockout to Al Sands in October 2013.

The Alexander-Khan card is also set to include Keith Thurman and Leonard Bundu in a welterweight clash of unbeatens, as well as a third televised fight matching undefeated junior middleweights Jermell Charlo and WBO titleholder Demetrius Andrade.

Also on the card will be three-division titlewinner Abner Mares in a featherweight bout, and former welterweight beltholder Victor Ortiz. Mares and Ortiz will fight opponents to be determined.

 

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