Exclusive Interview with Beibut Shumenov, WBA/ IBA World Light Heavyweight Champion from Kazakhstan 2014

Beibut Shumenov, (born 19 August 1983 in Kazakhstan) is a Kazakh professional boxer who fights in the Light Heavyweight division. He is the current WBA (Super) and IBA Light Heavyweight Champion.

Shumenov moved to the United States and based himself in Las Vegas where he turned professional in March 2007. In his debut in North Carolina, Shumenov defeated Walter Edwards with a knockout in the first round. He followed this up with another two knockout wins within 4 months.

In March 2008, Shumenov returned to Kazakhstan to fight American Donnell Wiggins for the vacant WBC Asian and interim PABA light heavyweight titles. Shumenov quickly dispatched the experienced Wiggins with a second round knockout and the next month beat former US national Golden Gloves champion Lavell Finger in the first round to add the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title to his WBC Asian and interim PABA titles.

 In 15 August 2009 and only 8 professional bouts on his record Shumenov received a shot at the WBA belt when he took on the Spaniard Gabriel Campillo. The fight took place in Shumenov’s home country of Kazakhstan and resulted in the first loss of his career when Campillo was declared the winner by majority decision. A rematch took place on 9 January 2010, with the result being reversed this time and Shumenov declared the winner by what was considered an extremely controversial split decision. With this victory Shumenov became the quickest man ever to win a world title in the light heavyweight division, beating the record of 15 fights set by Jeff Harding in 1989.

Shumenov made the first defense of his title on 23 July 2010 when he won a unanimous decision against the previously undefeated Viacheslav Uzelkov. Shumenov then arranged to have a unification fight with the then WBO champion Jürgen Brähmer, the fight was scheduled to take place in Kazakhstan 8 January 2011. However just days before the fight was due to take place Brähmer left Kazakhstan and returned to Germany, citing illness as his reason for dropping out of the fight. In his place former middleweight world champion William Joppy stepped in at short notice, and was knocked out by Shumenov in the 6th round.

He successfully defended his title in Las Vegas on 29 July, 2011 against former Contender star Danny Santiago and again on June 2, 2012 in Las Vegas against Enrique Ornelas.

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