Words: Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
Photos: Emily Harney – KZ Event Productions
Arguably the least heralded of all the light heavyweight world champions, Kazakhstani 28-year-old Beibut Shumenov successfully defended his WBA/IBA titles on Saturday, June 2 by unanimously decisioning challenger Enrique Ornelas (120-108 x3). Shumenov outclassed the Mexican – a former title challenger at super middleweight and ex incumbent of the NABF middleweight belt – before pondering the offers of three high-profile prizefighters.
At The Joint in Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Shumenov completely shut Ornelas out of contention as he collected the ten score in each and every round even though he was encumbered by an arm injury sustained during sparring, ten days prior to fight night. Ornelas refused to give up, but was too slow to cope with Shumenov, who attacked both the head and body throughout, timed uppercuts to perfection and landed right hands on multiple occasions.
On the victory, that sees his record rise to 13-1-0, 8ko, Shumenov said: “I trained very hard because I knew he [Ornelas] is very tough. His defence was very good. I wasn’t able to show my best because of the arm injury I suffered. I’m happy with the win.” Ornelas, meanwhile, fell to 33-8-0, 21ko as Beibut secured his fourth successful title defence having also triumphed over Danny Santiago, William Joppy and Vyacheslav Uzelkov since claiming the belts off Gabriel Campillo.
Shumenov, having paid his dues as a representative of the WBA, will now look at a trident of lucrative contracts from one future hall-0f-famer, one former super middleweight ruler and one undefeated star in his homeland. Promoter Don Chargrin confirmed: “We have three great offers from [Bernard] Hopkins (52,6-2, 32ko), [Mikkel] Kessler (45-2-0, 34ko) and [Nathan] Cleverly (24-0-0, 11ko).”