Lebedev's Manager Explains Why NO WBA Title Shot For Gassiev

By Vadim Pushkin

Vadim Kornilov, who manages WBA/IBF cruiserweight word champion Denis Lebedev (29-2, 22KOs), explained why his boxer refused to stake both world titles against Murat Gassiev (23-0, 17KOs) on Saturday night at the Khodynka Ice Palace in Moscow, Russia.

Gassiev is the mandatory challenger under the IBF, which is a title Lebedev captured in a second round knockout of Victor Ramirez in their unification bout this past May. 

Lebedev's handlers submitted a request to the WBA to recognized the fight with Gassiev as a "non-title" encounter. The WBA had no issue with approving their application, because Gassiev is not a mandatory challenger to the WBA title.


Because of the WBA's approval, it means Lebedev - win or lose on Saturday - will walk away as the World Boxing Association champion. And, Lebedev will also be bound to make a mandatory defense against the winner of the upcoming final eliminator between "regular" titlist Beibut Shumenov and "interim" beltholder Yunier Dorticos. 

Kornilov explains that both sides were debating back and forth in negotiations over the WBA title and it became a very sticky situation, because Lebedev - if he staked the WBA belt - would be obligated to an immediate rematch. But because Gassiev was the mandatory under the IBF, he was not under any obligated to agree to any type of rematch clause. 

"The WBA decided that they would give us permission not to put the title on the line in this fight, because Gassiev is the mandatory challenger only for the IBF. The reason why we didn't announce this earlier, is because we were in the process of negotiations and we waiting for confirmation of something and there was some fear of speaking prematurely. After all, if we put up the WBA title - then we would have an option for a rematch - and in this situation it can't happen because Gassiev is the mandatory challenger in principle. It is not quite a normal situation," Kornilov said.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by GaryMSchneider on 12-03-2016

This shows me that Lebedev is not very confident of winning against Gassiev. He has already lost in his own mind. Doesn't have the balls to put it all on the line like GGG or Kovalev. Politics once again in…

Comment by 1hourRun on 12-03-2016

[QUOTE=OctoberRed;17250055]That was Fury's fault. He was the mandatory under the WBA and WBO. He had ZERO reason to sign a rematch clause. They offered him a huge amount of money for a rematch - but they would only guarantee the…

Comment by OctoberRed on 12-03-2016

[QUOTE=1hourRun;17250002]The title should read: The IBF screwing up boxing once again...The WBA would recognize Lebedevs right to a rematch -- the IBF with their stupid six month interim voluntary rule and one year mandatory rule would block the fight if…

Comment by 1hourRun on 12-03-2016

The title should read: The IBF screwing up boxing once again...The WBA would recognize Lebedevs right to a rematch -- the IBF with their stupid six month interim voluntary rule and one year mandatory rule would block the fight if…

Comment by Motorcity Cobra on 12-03-2016

[QUOTE=Scary_canary;17249945]I can understand gassiev not being able to win the wba title but if lebedev loses the title should become vacant[/QUOTE] Agree 100%. I hope they aren't paying sanctioning fees for the WBA

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