Although often a maligned fighter Kazakh boxer Beibut Shumenov (18-2, 12) is certainly a unique fighter. Unlike many he's never really fought to get out of poverty, or even needed to fight at all for money. Despite that he's had a hunger for the sport and succeeded in both the amateurs and professional ranks. He's also very highly educated, fought a world title fight without anyone working his corner and is a multi-weight world champion.
Shumenov certainly had the potential to have a better career in the sport, but in reality the fact he's in the sport is a strange one, and something he never needed to do. It was something he wanted to do, and something he did well in, proving that you don't need to be a hungry fighter to be a success. He was however a fighter who seemed to have a weird relationship with the WBA, and that often left a nasty taste in the mouth.
Today we're going to try and show just how strange Shumenov's career was as we bring you 10 facts you probably didn't know about... Beibut Shumenov
1-When Shumenov was young his father was an accountant, who worked for the government, and his mother was a teacher. Although not a "rich" family, they were certainly comfortable, much more so than the typical family of a boxer. At least until the downfall of the Soviet Union, at which point life did get harder for the Shumenov family, until they managed to embrace capitalism and became a genuinely wealthy family.
2-As a child Shumenov was accidentally poisoned by two of his aunts who gave him bad milk. This almost killed him as a child, and he needed a life saving IV in his skull to prevent his untimely death!
3-Not only did Shumenov almost die from poisoning but he had numerous other health issues as a child including a weakened immune system. As a result he was often ill though was inspired to do martial arts, including boxing, due to action movies featuring the great Bruce Lee.
4-Before he made a mark in boxing he studied law and worked as an assistant to a local judge.
5-In 2004 Shumenov was part of a successful Kazakh amateur team at the Asian Boxing Champions in Puerto Princesa, in the Philippines. The team picked up 3 golds, a silver and 3 bronze medals with Shumenov picking up one of the gold medals alongside Gennady Golovkin and Galib Jafarov.
6-After winning the WBA Light Heavyweight title in January 2010, in what felt like a truly awful decision over Gabriel Campillo, Shumenov would hold the title until April 2014, when he lost in a unification against Bernard Hopkins. That gives him a reign of 4 years and 3 months, though he some how only made 5 successful defenses of that title and took more than 18 months between defenses 4 and 5.
7-Rather surprisingly Shumenov was the first ever Kazakh to become a 2-weight world champion, having won both the WBA Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight titles. Not only is this distinction pretty notable it's self, but it's also worth noting that he is one of the very few fighters to have won world titles at both 175lbs and Cruiserweight, a rather rare feat that few fighters manage to do due to the huge difference in allowed weight.
8-For much of his career Shumenov was actually also running his own promotional company alongside brother, with the two running KZ Event Productions In. The promotional arm was set up in Las Vegas, in 2007.
9-A movie about Shumenov was released in 2018 entitled "Несломленный", which translates as "Unbroken". The movie is a tale of Shumenov's life, and his battles to continue his career despite a number is medical issues affecting his career, particularly his eyes.
10-In 2019 Shumenov sold his Las Vegas home, for close to $5,000,000. The home was luxurious to say the least, with a reported 6 bed rooms, 9 bathrooms, a cinema, a wine cellar and an elevator!
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).