The WBA Championship committee have made the decision to strip the controversial Panamanian Guillermo Jones of the WBA Cruiserweight title and hand it back to Russian Denis Lebedev.
Earlier this year both the two men engaged in a violent war that left Lebedev with a seriously disfigured face. It was later found that Jones had tested positive for a banned diuretic and was subsequently banned, retroactively for 6 months and stripped of the title.
From our end that's where the story should have ended, instead however the WBA have gone a step further and ordered a rematch for when Jones's retroactive ban is over in November. The fight will have to be agreed by the promoters or the WBA will enforce purse bids on the two men.
Whilst the fact the WBA did take the belt from Jones was right we've no idea what a 6 month "retroactive ban" does in terms of a punishment. Then again with the WBA being based in Panama we've no shock at their half hearted punishment here.
We're hearing from several sources that WBA Cruiserweight champion Guillermo Jones has faced his post-fight drugs testing following his victory over Denis Lebedev back in May.
Unfortunately this story is one of many that show the dark side of boxing in Russia and over this bout in particular.
Those of you who were watching the fight will recall Lebedev having grotesque swelling around both eyes and his corner being next to no help. A story later emerged that the ringside doctor was "intimidated" by members of the Lebedev team effectively preventing him from stopping the fight.
Immediately after the fight there was a story that came out around the fact that Jones refused a drugs test. This story was later ironed out though many had found Jones guilty of cheating for not taking the tests immediately.
Unfortunately this newest story, which has seen Jones reported to have tested positive for diuretic "furosemide" is yet another blow to the sport.
The drug "furosemide" has 2 purposes. Firstly it's used, as mentioned above, as a diuretic, unfortunately however it also has qualities as a masking agent. Jones has been linked to it already in his career apparently testing positive for it following his fight with Johnny Nelson in 2002.
If the B sample of Jones is found to have also contained "furosemide" then he'll be stripped of the WBA title.
Unfortunately the damage to Lebedev's face, especially his eye, may never fully heal and he'll almost certainly not be the same fighter on his ring return. If this was done by a fighter who was cheating then the sport really will need to take a long hard look at it's self.
Sadly if Jones is found to be clean then this whole situation could throw a spanner in the works regarding the upcoming Wladimir Klitschko v Alexander Povetkin bout, which is also to be held in Russia.
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