Shumenov, a former amateur standout from Kazakhstan, seemed like one of the most exciting fighters on the planet when he turned professional way back in 2007. Inside a year of being a pro Shumenov had entered the world rankings, moved his record to an impressive 6-0 (5) and had defeated former world champion Montell Griffin.
The impressive start to Shumenov's career just more and more impressive with him fighting for a world title in his 9th professional contest. Although Shumenov lost, dropping a decision to the then WBA Light Heavyweight champion Gabriel Campillo, he had still impressed with his performance. His performance was so good that he got a rematch, one that he won albeit controversially.
Since winning the WBA title way back in January 2010 Shumenov has defended it just 4 times, the most recent of which came back in June 2012. Yes, it's been 18 months since Shumenov was last active. We're not sure why but the talented and hard hitting Kazakh went from being one of the most exciting fighters in the sport to being an inactive title holder but sadly that's what he's become.
Thankfully this weekend sees the long awaited return to action of Shumenov as he takes on the unbeaten Slovakian Tamas Kovacs (23-0, 14). Aged 36 this will be, by a long, the biggest fight of Kovacs career and a fight that could define his career, if he wins.
Unfortunately for Kovacs the odds are stacked against him, despite the fact he is unbeaten.
Not only is Kovacs 36 but he has several other issues going against him. Firstly this will be his first fight outside of Europe. Although he has fought outside of Slovakia he's never gone further than places like Austria, Hungary and Germany. The journey from Europe to the US, where this fight will be, is likely to have an effect of Kovacs.
Secondly Kovacs has never fought anyone of real note. His most famous opponent is probably Hamza Wandera, the younger brother of Kassim Ouma. Not only is Wandera the most notable on Kovacs record but also the man who gave Kovacs the toughest test dropping him twice en route to losing a majority decision.
From the fact Wandera could drop and hurt Kovacs it leaves us with just one conclusion, Shumenov will stop Kovacs. It may not be early and it may take Shumenov a few rounds to shake off the 18 months of ring rust but eventually Shumenov will break down Kovacs who is really one of the weakest world title challengers in a very long time.