Beibut Shumenov Targets WBO Light-Heavyweight Champ Zsolt Erdei

by James Slater - Much like Cuban hotshot and new WBA interim featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa, Kazakhstan's unbeaten 25-year-old Beibut Shumenov is a fighter that is being moved, and wants to be moved, fast. Also like Gamboa, the talented light-heavyweight contender represented his country at the 2004 Olympic games (unfortunately he was unable to win a medal)..

A pro only since November of 2007, Las-Vegas-based Shumanov has advanced very quickly. Winning all 7 of his pro fights, all but two inside the distance, the 25-year-old has met some very good fighters. Wins, and commanding ones, at that, over Montel Griffin (WU12) and Epifanio Mendoza (WU10) have vaulted the prospect/contender into the top-ten of a couple of boxing organisations already. Set to face former IBF super-middleweight champion Alejandro Berrio in his native Kazakhstan on May 9th, Shumenov is hoping to land a fight with reigning WBO 175 pound champion Zsolt Erdei after that.

Speaking to, Chingis Shumenov, Beibut's brother and co-promoter, spoke about the prospective fight with Hungary's unbeaten Erdei.

"We contacted Universum about Beibut fighting Erdei," Chingis said. "They promised to get back to us but never did. We're not looking past Berrio by any means, he's very dangerous, but we want a title shot against Erdei. Beibut has already beaten one world champion (in Griffin) and now he's fighting another former world champion, Berrio.

"We've challenged former world champions Clinton Woods, Glen Johnson, Julio Cesar Gonzalez, Byron Mitchell. None of them want to fight Beibut."

And who can really blame them? Shumenov is massively ambitious, he is willing, it seems, to fight anyone, and he is fast approaching his absolute peak - if he's not there already. Why would any of the former champs listed by his brother wish to risk losing to such a fighter when they could still have yet another shot at the big time? Still, as choosy as Shumenov claims some fighters have been, at least Berrio is taking the hotshot on. An impressive win over the 32-year-old Colombian, 28-5(27) might just get Beibut what he wants. But would Erdei have too much for him at present, as good as the unbeaten would-be star is?

Chingis says the lack of pro fights his brother has had should not go against him.

"Title contending opportunities should be about the quality, not the number, of opponents fought," Chingis argued. "Beibut's only had seven pro fights, true, but look at whom he's beaten. People forget that in 1978, Leon Spinks had only had seven pro fights when he beat the great Muhammad Ali for the world heavyweight title.

"Erdei has a title defence scheduled for August 22nd against a TBA. We'll be ready, willing and able for him."

Chingis also added that his brother is self promoted, therefore there will be no middle-men for Team-Erdei to have to deal with- "there's no excuse," Chingis said.

In the past, the long-reigning WBO light-heavyweight king with the 30-0(17) record has made the claim that he has been avoided and that no-one wants to fight him. Wouldn't it be somewhat ironic if he now chose to avoid a guy with just seven or eight pro fights to his name?

Article posted on 25.04.2009

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