Shumenov: I want to be the Undisputed Light Heavyweight Champion in 2014
Beibut Shumenov, the reigning Light Heavyweight World Boxing Association and the International Boxing Association`s Light Heavyweight Champion and fastest pugilist to obtain a world title in this division in ten bouts; made a triumph return to boxing after being out of the sport for the last 18 months, as he knockdown, previously undefeated, Tamas “Tomi Kid” Kovacs (23-1, 14KOs), three times before referee, Rafael Ramos stopped the bout with 2:55 left in the third round on December 14, 2013 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
He dropped Kovacs with a powerful left hook in the first round, knocked him down with a perfectly timed uppercut in the second round and landed numerous hard hitting punches at Kovacs, who was defenseless in the third round, which caused Kovacs to fall to the canvas again as Ramos, quickly halted the action. This ended a one sided fight that Shumenov dominated and demonstrated that he had little ring rust, despite not fighting in almost a year and a half.
“I`m happy with the victory; however, I expected a great deal more from Kovacs who`s an aggressive, powerful fighter, so I didn`t get an opportunity to showcase all my skills in the ring against him,” said Shumenov.
This was Shumenov`s fifth title defense of his belts and with the technical knockout victory, he improved his record to 14-1, 9KOs. The 30 year old orthodox boxer, from Las Vegas, Nevada, has won six in a row since his only loss to Gabriel Campillo, by way of a 12 round majority decision in 2009. He won the rematch in his next fight by a split 12 round decision.
Shumenov looks to become the undisputed light heavyweight champion in 2014, which will be much easier for him to accomplish since he recently signed with one of the most powerful boxing promotional companies in Golden Boy Promotions (“GBP”), before his fight with Kovacs. Throughout his professional career, he was his own promoter, manager and advisor and now he has an opportunity for the first time to fully concentrate on what he does best and that is fight.
“I`ve not boxed lately because I`ve been holding out for a significant bout which hasn`t happened and it has been really frustrating for me that no one is willing to fight me. I tried to obtain unification bouts with former World Boxing Organization (“WBO”) Champion, Nathan Cleverly and Juergen Braehmer and former World Boxing Council (“WBC”) titlist, Chad Dawson, yet none of them had any interest in fighting me,” said Shumenov. “I hope with GBP on my team, they can get me a bout with one or more of the division’s title holders and allow me the opportunity to become the undisputed light heavyweight champion in 2014.”
One of GBP`s fighters is Bernard “Alien” Hopkins (54-6-2,32KOs) the International Boxing Federation’s Light Heavyweight Champion and future Boxing Hall of Famer, who attended Shumenov`s fight against Kovacs. After the bout, both men expressed genuine interest in boxing one another in late March or early April of this year. If this bout comes to fruition, which it could, since they have the same promoter and both pugilists want the bout, it would unify half of the light heavyweight division and provide fight fans with an interesting and entertaining bout.
“I`d love to fight Hopkins because not only is he a world title holder, but he`s one of the best fighters in the sport and a true legend and for me to become the best in boxing, I`ve to defeat the best,” said Shumenov.
Shumenov, a 2004 Kazakhstan Olympian is a very fundamentally and technically sound boxer who has fast hands that throw a great deal of punches each round, good defense and underrated power. He has an unbelievable work ethic where he`s constantly in the gym training and running and is extremely motivated to not only become a better boxer but to fight the best fighters in his division, as his record indicates.
He has fought extremely impressive competition over the last seven years as a professional. He defeated four former world champions: Gabriel Campillo, Byron Mitchell, William Joppy and Montell Griffin as well as four former world title challengers: Epifanio Mendoza, Vlacheslav Uzelkov, Danny Santiago and Enrique Ornelas. His last ten opponents` winning percentage is 89 percent with a 315-40-5 accumulative record.
Despite winning against exceptional competition that is just as good if not better than most boxers, he doesn`t get the same recognition and fanfare as other fighters in his weight class nor does he receive the respect that he should deserve as many boxing rankings have him listed outside of the top five pugilists in the light heavyweight division. Shumenov has unsuccessfully tried to fight other title holders and significant boxers in the division to no avail which would have strengthened his credentials even more than are.
Hopefully, this year will finally be the year he obtains significant bouts with Hopkins and or WBC title holder, Adonis Stevenson and or WBO Champion, Sergey Kovalev, giving him an opportunity to prove to everyone that he`s one of the best fighters in the sport to and achieve his goal of unifying the 175 pound division. We`ll have to wait and see whether these bouts are made, which they have a great likelihood of happening since he`s promoted by GBP and whether he`ll prevail in those matchups, which with his skills, worth ethic and level of opposition he has defeated, gives him a good chance of doing so.
Shumenov is also an extremely smart and well accomplished individual outside the ring. He speaks five languages: English, Russian, Kazak, Turkish and Uzbek, is a lawyer in Kazakhstan and co-operates a Las Vegas based promotional company, KZ Event Productions, with his brother, Chingis. He garnered the 2011 Kazakhstan National Award, “Barys” (Snow Leopard), one of the highest awards presented by the Republic of Kazakhstan, for promoting Kazakhstan`s culture through his outstanding achievements in the boxing ring. This award is usually only given to political and military dignitaries. For more information on him, visit him at facebook.com/Beibutshumenov.