Moments ago in Kazakhstan, Beibut Shumenov, returning to action for the first time in just over two years, regained his WBA cruiserweight title with a dominant yet dull ninth-round retirement stoppage win over a reluctant Hizni Altunkaya.
Now 18-2(12) Shumenov never lost a single minute of a single round as the extremely disappointing challenger failed to make anything of a real go of it. Altunkaya, who was decked in the ninth with a body shot, failed to come out for round-ten. He is now 30-2(17).
34 year old Shumenov basically won as he pleased today, content as he was to box and wait for openings. Altunkaya was extremely hesitant and he boxed largely in a shell. Shumenov looked to be taking things easy, happy to pile up the points. It was a boring affair and despite the win, in no way did Shumenov make a statement that he is a threat to either of Oleksandr Usyk or Murat Gassiev; these two being the real champions at the weight.
It’s easier watching from the outside of course, but it did appear as though Shumenov could have stepped things up and jumped on his man and bullied him to a quick and impressive-looking stoppage defeat. Instead, in a performance that will hardly have got fans desperately hoping to see Shumenov’s next fight, the local hero gave his supporters precious little to cheer about.
As for Germany’s Altunkaya, how he got the world title chance is something of a mystery. Since losing to Krzysztof Glowacki last June, the 30 year old had beaten a 3-7-1 fighter. No way did Altunkaya deserve today’s big chance and no way did he try and make the most of it having got it.
All in all a very poor fight.
Now, two weeks today, we will see a real cruiserweight world title fight that will not disappoint. Gassiev-Usyk in the WBSS grand final on July 21 in Russia: who wins this one? Rest assured, there will be no holding back in this fight, from either proud champion.