By Alexey Sukachev
In a minor shocker, WBA #1 ranked super middleweight and WBA interim-champion Stanislav Kashtanov (31-1, 17 KOs) suddenly made a decision to call it a career on September 2. According to his promoter Union Boxing Promotions, a Donetsk-based boxing team led by Yuri Ruban and Dmytro Yeliseev, Stas has been forced to retire due to the ongoing struggles with his health. Kashtanov is reportedly suffering continuous headaches during training sessions, and his vision has also worsened.
“According to our medical staff, Stanislav needs to lower his daily workload, to go into a rehab mode, and definitely to retire from the sport. After a number of talks with Stas, his family, our medical staff, and our coaches we’ve decided to ask him to retire. We are very sad about the fact that such a talented boxer needs to retire at a such young age, but our boxer’s health is the most important thing for us. Nothing means more than that for our entire company," was said in an official media release, posted by the UBP. “All the papers, confirming this sad fact, have been already sent both to the Professional Boxing League of Ukraine and the World Boxing Association”.
Kashtanov, who turned 30 this summer, is a native of Donetsk, a present battlefield between Ukrainian armed forces and pro-Russian militants. He started his career at the age of 18 in 2003 and quickly racked up a nice record albeit against no-names and limited opposition, mostly fought in his hometown. However, Kashtanov, while still being an untested prospect, pushed two-time world champion Karoly Balzsay to his limits in a bid for a vacant WBA super middleweight crown in August 2011, and Kashtanov lost that fight via a controversial split decision. His dream of becoming a world champion (sort of) got real a year after, when he decisioned (also on a split nod) fellow teammate Server Yemurlayev for the WBA interim title. He was last seen in the ring a year ago stopping Costa Rican Jaime Barboza within ten rounds.
Kashtanov was previously obliged to defend his regalia against up-and-coming Russian prospect Fedor Chudinov (11-0, 9 KOs), a younger brother of the WBA interim middleweight beltholder Dmitry Chudinov, who himself is rated #2 by the WBA. Both parties – the UBP and Chudinov’s promoter Vladimir Hryunov – were due to reach an agreement before a possible purse bid, but now those talks are obviously off.
“After all this happened, it’s become clear that Fedor won’t face Kashtanov. Stanislav hasn’t fought over a year, and those negotiations were filled in with some politics, which I try to avoid as much as I can, and then this news has broken out. We are now considering several other opponents for Fedor’s battle for a now-vacant WBA title. We have negotiated with Shane Mosley, but his team acknowledged to us that such a weight gain will be too much for him," said Hryunov in his interview with R-Sport a couple of days ago. “We were also looking at Jermain Taylor, and two or three names can be thrown into the mix pretty soon”.
Hryunov is also willing to match Chudinov against some of the bigger names at the weight.
“We are now considering two-time ex-WBO champion Robert Stieglitz (47-4, 27 KOs), UK’s “Saint” and WBA #6 George Groves (19-2, 15 KOs) and also WBA #3 Mexican Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez (29-0, 23 KOs) for Chudinov next,” Hryunov stated.
Neither Kashtanov, nor Chudinov are ranked by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, but all three mentioned opponents are rated by the TBRB: Stieglitz at #3, Groves at #5, and “Zurdo” Ramirez is now rated #10.