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Beibut Shumenov Stops Danny Santiago In Nine

By Jake Donovan

Beibut Shumenov successfully defended his alphabet light heavyweight belt with a ninth round stoppage of Danny Santiago on Friday evening at the South Point Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.

The official time was 0:46 in the ninth round of their Telefutura-televised main event.

Action flowed as would normally be expected in a Shumenov bout, which is to say that the Kazakhstan native took his time in breaking down his opponent. His fighting style is in stark contrast to his career progress, having been matched aggressively early on and winning an alphabet belt in his 10th pro bout, quicker than any other light heavyweight in boxing history.

In the ring, his pace is far more marathon than sprint. It’s a wise tactic to take, but on this particular evening meant that an already-documented mismatch was stretched out far longer than needed to be the case.

Santiago deserves some credit for that. While undeserving of the title shot (or the one he received four years ago against Zsolt Erdei), the transplanted Nuyorican proved to be a tough nut to crack.

Shumenov eventually solved the riddle, although never went full throttle or even attempted to take risks in the ring. Punches often came once at a time, with large portions of the evening representing a posing contest more so than an alleged championship fight.

After piling up an early lead, Shumenov turned up the heat in the seventh. His best moments of the fight to that point were met with false bravado by Santiago, who would bang his chest while nodding and smiling, daring Shumenov to bring more and sell the suggestion that he wasn’t hurt.

His face told a different tale, with a mouse developing under his right eye and his 38-year old skin looking drawn. Meanwhile, Shumenov looked like he was just ready to begin.

The rest of the night belonged to the defending titlist, who found inspiration at the start of the ninth and didn’t let up until referee Tony Weeks decided the fight lasted long enough. A merciless fusillade of body shots and power punches upstairs left Santiago defenseless, although he still found time to stage a mild in-ring protest the moment the fight was brought to a halt.

Shumenov advances to 12-1 (8KO) with the win, just his second of the year. Santiago falls to 31-5-1 (19KO) with the loss, ending a modest two fight win streak.

Now based out of Las Vegas, Shumenov’s career has slowed down considerably ever since laying claim to alphabet hardware. Massive amounts of hype surrounded his early progress, though more of it being due to the mystery that surrounded his career, particularly his first crack at a title. Coming up just short against Gabriel Campillo the first time they fought, the suggestion that immediately followed was robbery, an easy claim to make when little to no footage of the fight was to be found.

Their rematch came five months later in a bout that marked his US-televised debut. The returns weren’t pretty, as he landed on the favorable end of one of the year’s most controversial decisions in squeaking one past Campillo.

Friday’s fight marked his third defense, though a continuation of competition level that pales in comparison to whom he was facing while on the way up.

That could change as early as his very next fight.

Sitting at ringside was former lineal light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal, who didn’t waste any time in demanding a title shot in hopes of “bringing the belt back to Canada, where it belongs.”

Shumenov responded in kind, stating that he has no problem facing Pascal or anyone else worth a damn.

“I want the best. Pascal, Chad Dawson… it doesn’t matter, I want everyone.”

Where the fight lands could very well depend on who winds up as the lead promoter. Pascal is wildly popular in Canada, enough to where he was able to draw top American light heavyweights Chad Dawson and Bernard Hopkins north of the border in his three most recent fights.

However, Shumenov comes with considerable financial backing, enough to where he is able to control his own career. He is also a student of the game, and has a belief in where the fight belongs.

“I’m from Kazakhstan but I now live here in Las Vegas. All of the biggest fights happen in Las Vegas.”

In other televised action:

Super featherweight prospect and local favorite Lonnie Smith (14-2-2, 10KO) scored a third round knockout of Eduardo Arcos (16-5-1, 13KO).

19-year old Joel Diaz begins his second year as a pro in style, scoring a first round knockout of Shawn Nichol. Diaz (5-0, 4KO) scored two knockdowns, the second prompting a stoppage at 2:20 of the opening round.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Spray_resistant on 07-30-2011

[QUOTE=giacomino;10920729]Another bum for Shumenov. Until he actually beats Campillo, he won't be a real champion.[/QUOTE] I agree and I am glad ppl are not just forgetting the schooling he received at Campillo's hands.

Comment by Pastrano on 07-30-2011

This guy desperately needs to beat a recognized name.:nonono: JOPPY isn't enough, a lhw William Joppy is a JOKE!

Comment by giacomino on 07-30-2011

Another bum for Shumenov. Until he actually beats Campillo, he won't be a real champion.

Comment by tostao on 07-30-2011

shumenov's so called success in the US show how rotten the professional boxing is : starting with the corrupt comissions and ending with the use of PED's . he'll never fight a real boxer .

Comment by memento126 on 07-30-2011

Shumenov physically strong fighter but has many flaws, anyways it will be all action fight with him and Cloud, Pascal, Cleverly.

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