The WBA Cruiserweight title picture has been nothing short of a mess recently, with 4 different "world champions" at the time. Thankfully we are heading to a point where that mess will be tidied up, at least partially, and today saw the WBA hold a purse bid to begin the long process of getting rid of some of those world titles.
The purse bid in question was for the WBA "regular" Cruiserweight title, and was to set up a bout between "regular" champion Beibut Shumenov (18-2, 12) [Бейбут Амирханович Шуменов] and "interim" champion, come Gold champion, Arsen Goulamirian (24-0, 16).
The winning bid was put in by Don King, $821,000, with the purse to be split 55%-45% in favour of Shumenov. The winning was almost $200,000 more than the bid put in by Goulamirian's team, who were the
It was the only one of 4 purse bids ordered earlier this year to actually take place today, more than a week later than originally scheduled.
King's winning bid came with 3 possible venues and dates.The first possibility is on April 15th in Monaco, the second possibility is just over 2 weeks later, April 30th Kazakhstan whilst the other possibility is May 13th in New York. A decision will be made shortly on which of those options will be taken forward.
French website www.lequipe.fr have quoted Sébastien Acariès, who promotes Goulamirian, as saying "Given the large amount of the bid, I have no regrets " [Translated] and also seemed to rule out the April 15th option, "King, who sent his representative, he will now have to find a city, but I do not believe in the possibility of Monaco at all." This is likely due to the fact a bout in Monaco would essentially see Goulamirian being the local favourite.
Yesterday the WBA announced that the purse for their Cruiserweight title bout between Kazakh world champion Beibut Shumenov (18-2, 12) [Бейбут Амирханович Шуменов] and Frenchman Arsen Goulamirian (24-0, 16) had been rescheduled, again.
Originally the purse bids were set for February 4th, then February 6th and now they are set for February 13th.
There was no clear reason given, but it should be noted that there was several other purse bids set for February 6th, today, and it seems like they are set to be cancelled due to fighters taking unification bouts. This is the case at Super Bantamweight, where world champion Daniel Roman (26-2-1, 10) looks set to unify with IBF champion TJ Doheny (21-0, 15), and at Lightweight, where Vasiliy Lomachenko (12-1, 9) and Richard Commey (28-2, 25) will look to unify the WBA, WBO and IBF titles.
As a result of the unification bouts we'll see the mandatory title bouts at Super Bantamweight, featuring Uzbek Murodjon Akhmadaliev (5-0, 4) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович] and a Lightweight, with Anthony Crolla (34-6-3, 13) being put on the back burner, for now at least.
Given the unification bouts it makes sense to cancel the purse bids at 122lbs and 130lbs though delaying the Cruiserweight doesn't make much sense.
Earlier this month the WBA ordered several purse bids, though had confusing time frames for several of them. Today however they set new dates for the 4 purse bids that they had previously ordered.
Whilst several of those bouts don't concern the Asian boxing scene, 2 of them do. They are the Cruiserweight title bout between Kazakhstan's Beibut Shumenov (18-2, 12) [Бейбут Амирханович Шуменов] and Frenchman Arsen Goulamirian (24-0, 16), as well as the Super Bantamweight bout between Murodjon Akhmadaliev (5-0, 4) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович], from Uzbekistan, and American world champion Daniel Roman (26-2-1, 10).
The bouts have been changed from February 4th to February 6th.
As well as changing the dates the WBA also announced the purse splits. For the Super Bantamweight title bout the purse will be split 75/25, in favour of the champion, whilst the Cruiserweight bout will be split 55/45, again in favour of the champion.
The minimum bids for the bouts have been set at $200,000 for the Cruiserweight contest and $120,000 for the Super Bantamweight bout.
As well as the two with an Asian interest there will also be a Heavyweight title bout and a Lightweight title bout with purse bids taking place at the same time.
This past weekend fight fans in Russia saw Denis Lebedev (31-2, 23) return to the ring after more than a year of inactivity. The Russian made an easy return to the ring as he stopped Hinzi Altunkaya in 3 rounds.
Following that victory Lebedev mentioned 3 opponents he would like to face off with in his next contest. One of those was Kazakh fighter Beibut Shumenov (18-2, 12) [Бейбут Шуменов].
According to reports in the Kazakh media there are talks suggesting that Shumenov is the most likely option for Lebedev, with the other two men being Murat Gassiev and Oleksandr Usyk both of whom are likely to look else where with Usyk strongly linked to a fight Tony Bellew.
The team of Lebedev's have stated his next bout would likely come in December or January, and given the availability of the three opponents mentioned it would again suggest that Shumenov would be the best dance partner for the Russian, and a chance for Lebedev to claim the WBA "regular" Cruiserweight title.
Given that Usyk is looking elsewhere and Gassiev has already beaten Lebedev it does seem very logical to have Russian match up against Shumenov, as the Kazakh's are suggesting, and the possibly take the winner towards Gassiev, who would be expected to beat either Lebedev or Shumenov.
(Image courtesy of sports.kz)
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