By Ryan Maquiñana
WBA 175-pound champion Beibut Shumenov is targeting some big names at light heavyweight for an October or November date.
“[Jean] Pascal and [Zsolt] Erdei will be two of the guys we’re looking at,” said Shumenov’s promoter, Don Chargin.
The 27-year-old Shumenov (12-1, 8 KOs) made the third successful defense of his belt with a dominant ninth-round stoppage of Danny Santiago last Friday in the Kazakhstan native’s new residence of Las Vegas.
“I’m just amazed in these few months how much he’s improved in 13 fights,” Chargin added. “We’ll talk to the WBA and find out about a mandatory.”
Pascal, a Canadian who is currently promoted by Montreal-based Yvon Michel of GYM, is very interested in the prospect of challenging Shumenov, even going so far as to challenge the Kazakh in the ring last Friday during the TeleFutura Solo Boxeo broadcast.
“Pascal asked me before the show if he could go up there, and I obliged him,” Chargin said. “So far, about a Pascal fight, I’ve only talked to [agent] Don Majeski and he works with Pascal’s people.”
While Michel would love to bring the bout to the budding boxing hotbed of Quebec, Chargin has other ideas.
“Shumenov did 30,000 in Kazakhstan with Byron Mitchell, so I’m figuring with a name like Pascal, he’s got to do 50,000,” Chargin said. “That’s what the ambassador of Kazakhstan thinks anyway, and we’ve been talking about bringing the next fight there.”
Another fighter Chargin brought up was former WBO light heavyweight titlist Erdei of Hungary, who is currently promoted by Lou DiBella.
“I just talked to Lou this morning about Erdei,” Chargin shared. “Beibut likes the idea of it. I’m going to sit down and talk to him this week. He’s brought up Erdei with me before.”
Overall, Chargin is very impressed with his charge and would like to see him further develop in the gym.
“He’s such a nice kid,” he said. “He’s so dedicated that he works out twice a day. He’s shortening up his punches. He’s got that killer instinct when he sees someone hurt. My suggestion to him is to see if he could hire Santiago for sparring for his next fight because he’s still pretty slick. When you can land punches on a guy like Santiago, it’ll be easier on your opponents. I want tough workouts for him, yes, but he needs slick boxers there, too, where he has to think and get his timing down.”
Of course, the biggest name in the division is Bernard Hopkins, who puts his WBC belt on the line against Chad Dawson in October.
“[Beibut] idolizes Hopkins. He has since he was a kid. But Hopkins is fighting Dawson in October. Down the line that might be a possibility, but I’d like to see him get a little more experience.”
Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, contact him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rmaq28 or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.