Beibut Shumenov WBA/IBA Light Heavyweight World Champ
On Fast Track To Boxing Stardom
LAST VEGAS – WBA and IBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Beibut Shumenov took the fast track to become world champion, establishing a weight-class record along the way, and now he wants to accelerate his road to stardom.
Shumenov is set on a mission to unify the titles starting with his next bout, hopefully before the year is out.
“I want a unification fight next,” Shumenov said. “I’m ready to fight any of the other champions now. (Jean) Pascal and (Tavoris) Cloud are both good champions and I’d love to fight either one. Throw in world champion Jurgen Brahmer, too. My goal is to unify the titles. I have a lot of respect for all of the other champions but I want their titles.”
“It’s unheard of, a fighter that wants one challenge after another so early in their career,” said Dan Goossen of Goossen Tutor Promotions. “But this is what boxing needs, the most competitive and biggest fights that can be made. The networks should ONLY be looking at these young champions to be facing off with one another. Beibut wants to give the fans want they want to see.”
Shumenov (10-1, 6 KOs), born in Kazakhstan and now living in Las Vegas, wasn’t looking to pad his record from the day he turned pro 2 ½ years ago, after he represented Kazakhstan in the 2004 Olympics.
In his third pro fight, he took on 70-fight veteran Shannon Miller, who was put to sleep in the fourth round of their fight in Memphis, followed only three weeks later in Kazakhstan by a second-round knockout of former WBC Continental Americas champion Donnell Wiggins (24-10-4) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council and Interim PABA light heavyweight belts.
Next up for Shumenov were successful title defenses of the aforementioned crowns, in addition to capturing the vacant WBO Asia Pacific belt against Lavell Finger (26-2) who didn’t make it out of the opening round. Fighting at home for the third straight fight, Shumenov stepped-up to face his stiffest test, former WBC and WBA light heavyweight champion, Montell Griffin (49-7), who sported wins against world champions James Toney (twice) and Roy Jones, Jr. Shumenov pitched a complete, 12-round shutout, winning the unanimous decision by scores of 120-108, 120-108, 120-107.
Back in the U.S., Shumenov squared-off against world title challenger Epifanio Mendoza (28-6-1), who had lost to Chad Dawson in their 2007 world title fight and a year later by a controversial decision to former world champion Jeff Lacy. Beibut defeated Mendoza in Bellevue, Washington by 10-round unanimous decision (100-90, 98-92, 97-93).
From that point on it’s been all world championship fights for Shumenov, who captured the IBA crown last year in Kazakhstan, stopping 2-time world super middleweight champion Byron Mitchell (27-4-1) in the fourth round. In his ninth pro fight, Shumenov unsuccessfully challenged WBA titlist Gabriel Campillo in Kazakhstan, losing a hotly contested, questionable 12-round majority decision.
Beibut bounced back strong in another back-and-forth rematch this past January, winning a 12-round decision against Campillo for the WBA belt in only his 10th pro fight. Shumenov shattered the previous world record for fewest professional fights to capture a major World light heavyweight title, 15, set by Jeff “Hit Man” Harding in 1989.
In his first WBA title defense (July 23) on ESPN Friday Night Fights, Shumenov showed the valuable lessons learned from the prior two Campillo bouts, to totally dominate mandatory challenger and previously unbeaten Vyacheslav Uzelkov (22-0, 13 KOs), displaying speed, aggressiveness and fearlessness right through the closing seconds en route to an overwhelming unanimous decision (118-108, 118-108, 117-109).
His impressive fight against the Ukrainian was only his second with head trainer, Kevin Barry, and first fighting for Goossen Tutor Promotions. The classy Kazakh showed tremendous ability and fought his way side-by-side with the other 175-pound champions. “I have the best trainer in the world, Kevin, and I was 100-percent dedicated to training and completely focused on Uzelkov alone because I signed with Goossen Tutor,” Beibut explained.
Shumenov joined featherweight Aratoly Alexandrov, heavyweight, Oleg “Big O’ Maskaev and cruiserweight Vassily “The Tiger” Jirov as the only Kazakh-born professional world boxing champions.
On the fast track outside of the ring, too, Beibut has a law degree, speaks five languages (Russian, Kazakh, English, Turkish and Uzbek), and along with his brother, Chingis, own a full-service boxing promotional company based in Las Vegas, NV. KZ Event Productions fighters include unbeaten, WBA #9-rated light heavyweight Gayrat Ahmedov (15-0-1, 10 KOs) and undefeated welterweight, WBA #14 Ravshan Hudaynazrov.