By Igor Lazorin, tass
A date and location has been finalized for IBF/WBA cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev's mandatory defense against dangerous unbeaten challenger Murat Gassiev.
The International Boxing Federation (IBF) had issued an order which directed Lebedev and unbeaten Murat Gassiev to begin negotiations for a mandatory showdown. The sanctioning had given both sides until July 3 to reach a deal and they were able to reach an agreement without th necessity of a purse bid.
Gassiev is advised by Al Haymon and fighters under the Premier Boxing Champions banner. Lebedev's promoter Andrey Ryabinsky, of World of Boxing, revealed the date of December 3 with Moscow as the location.
Under the World Boxing Association (WBA), Lebedev has a mandatory with WBA 'regular' champion Beibut Shumenov, and Shumenov is doing whatever he can to prevent the fight with Gassiev.
Lebedev vs. Gassiev creates a classic duel between trainers. Lebedev is handled by Hall of Fame coach Freddie Roach, and Gassiev is trained by Abel Sanchez, who is currently best known as the head coach for middleweight king Gennady Golovkin.
Earlier this year, Lebedev pulled off one of his most impressive victories with a two round destruction of Victor Emilio Ramirez to unify the WBA/IBF world titles before a frenzied crowd in Moscow, Russia.
The victory raised the 36-year-old's record to 29 wins (22 by knockout) and two defeats. Gassiev is one of Russia's most promising up and coming boxers. In his last fight, he had very scary knockout of Jordan Shimmell. The 22-year-old Gassiev, who is promoted by Warriors Boxing in the United States, has a record of 23 wins (17 by KO) and no losses.
The undercard to Lebedev vs. Gassiev will feature Russian cruiserweight puncher Dmitry Kudryashov and prospects Alexey Egorov and Andrey Afonin.