More than 16 months after the Jones/Lebedev fight we finally got to see Lebedev, the WBA Cruiserweight champion, back in action as he took on the previously unbeaten Polish challenger Pawel Kolodziej (33-1, 18).
The fight started slowly with Kolodziej using height and reach to keep Lebedev on the outside. It was a tactic that worked in some ways though slowed the bout to a near standstill at times. Unfortunately for the challenger it was also a tactic that wasn't going to work for long unless he had something extra in the tank. He didn't.
Part way through round 2 Lebedev connected cleanly, for the first time, and Kolodziej seemed stunned as if he was surprised by Lebedev's power. From then out it seemed to be a case of waiting for the follow up shot which came only moments later flooring the challenger hard.
Kolodziej, to his credit, managed to get up from the knockdown though had no idea where he was or what his body was doing and referee Guillermo Perez Pineda did the right thing stopping the bout with the Pole in no fit state to continue. Had he allowed the bout to go on the Pole would have been down almost immediately with Lebedev's power being too much.
Whilst this was a welcome return to the ring from the Russian fighter we do still wonder about the damage done in the Jones fight. Lebedev never got out of first gear, he didn't need to, and he never took any sort of a shot. We do wonder what happens when he does take a shot and when he does need to fight through adversity again. Hopefully he'll be the fighter he once was, but this bout told us next to nothing about what Lebedev has left.