by David P. Greisman
Beibut Shumenov only has 15 fights on his record, but he’s actually been a pro for six years — and a light heavyweight world titleholder for nearly four years. Fame has eluded him, though.
And so Shumenov says his recent signings with Golden Boy Promotions and powerful boxing adviser Al Haymon will benefit him by bringing him opportunities that were not there before.
“I was waiting for so long for this kind of thing,” Shumenov told reporters after his fight on Saturday in San Antonio, a third-round technical knockout of Tomas Kovacs that brought his record to 14-1 (9 KOs). “Before, I was promoting myself. It was really hard for me. I never made any money. I lost money. I never made any money. We tried to make several unification title fights, but it never happened.”
Shumenov won his World Boxing Association belt controversially in January 2010, taking a split decision in his rematch with Gabriel Campillo. He followed that with a decision win over Vyacheslav Uzelkov in July 2010, a knockout of William Joppy in January 2011, a stoppage of Danny Santiago in July 2011, and a shutout of Enrique Ornelas in June 2012.
Now that Shumenov is with Golden Boy, all signs point to a unification bout in 2014 with Bernard Hopkins. By the time they fight, if they do fight, Hopkins will be 49 years old. Shumenov is 30, but he doesn’t see that gap as being to Hopkins’ disadvantage.
“Age for Hopkins is not an issue,” Shumenov said. “He proved so many times. In his last performance [a win over Karo Murat], I was actually very surprised that he can also take punches. He can also take punches that not even young guys can take. Like people say, he’s not a normal human. He’s extraordinary. Or maybe he is an alien.”
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]