By Jake Donovan
It’s s(p)it or get off the pot time for Guillermo Jones. This time, the WBA means it.
The world’s most inactive titlist has been ordered to face interim cruiserweight beltholder Denis Lebedev, the WBA announced Wednesday afternoon. A purse bid hearing has been scheduled for February 6 at the WBA headquarters in Marabella, Panama.
Jones (38-3-2, 32KO) claimed title status in 2008 with a 10th round stoppage of Firat Arslan. Getting the 6’4” cruiserweight in the ring since then has proven to be a daunting task.
Just two title defenses have followed, spaced out over three years and with his last ring appearance coming in Nov. 2011, a 6th round knockout over fringe contender Michael Marrone. The fight came one day after Lebedev (25-1, 19KO) gained interim title status after scoring a landslide win in his native Russia over faded legend James Toney.
The ordered purse bid comes after repeated efforts to get the two fighters in the ring, though through no fault of Lebedev. The Russian knockout artist has won four straight since a controversial points loss to Marco Huck in Dec. 2010. Included among the streak are wins over Toney as well as Roy Jones, Jr., whom Lebedev violently knocked out with barely any time left on the clock in their May 2011 bout.
Jones was rumored to face Lebedev last December – already rescheduled from an earlier attempt and shortly after being downgraded to “Champion in Recess” due to his excessive inactivity. True to form, the Panamanian pulled out of that fight as well, forcing the WBA to take action and call for the fight to go to the highest bidder.
Lebedev kept the December 17 fight date, knocking out Santandar Silgado of Brooklyn in four largely uncompetitive rounds.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox