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Lebedev Targets Usyk Mandatory Fight as Final Career Bout

By Luke Furman

Russian cruiserweight contender Denis Lebedev said he intends to end his professional career after a potential fight with Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk.

As Lededev’s manager Vadim Kornilov said earlier, the World Boxing Association (WBA) has ruled that Usyk, the undisputed world champion in the cruiserweight division, and Lebedev, must fight by March 10, 2019.

Usyk has had a banner year in 2018 - with wins over Mairis Briedis, Murat Gassiev and Tony Bellew. He unified the WBC, WBO, IBF and WBA world titles. And he won the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament.


Lebedev (32-2, 23 KOs), a former WBA, IBF cruiserweight world champion, is almost 40-years-old and nearing the end of his career.

He wants to fight Usyk in what he says will be the final bout of his pro career. Lebedev has won three fights in a row since losing a twelve round split decision to Gassiev in December 2016.

According to Lebedev, their teams have started negotiations.

“Our teams have started negotiations. I don’t know how feasible this fight is, but those are the plans. Today, Oleksandr Usyk is number one in boxing and that's 100%. That makes it more interesting for me to try to beat him. Every boxer's dream is to fight the strongest. What soldier doesn’t dream of one day becoming a general. I’ll go out with the desire to win - definitely. We should have a beautiful fight, because Oleksandr Usyk’s style and my style are an interesting combination,” Lebedev said to the “Subscriber Available” program on the Latvian internet channel Mix TV.
“I promise everyone now, I’m doing it on your air, that if the fight with Alexander Usik is held, it will be the last fight in my career. ashamed, "he added.

Luke Furman covers boxing for

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Jewish-Reptile on 12-11-2018

[QUOTE=_Rexy_;19347355]I doubt Usyk wants it at all, to be honest. I thought that the Bellew fight should have been his first at HW to test the waters, but apparently it was CW or nothing for Bellew (he wanted the belts)…

Comment by _Rexy_ on 12-11-2018

[QUOTE=Kell Mercury;19346976]Yet does Usyk genuinely want to waste his time with this shyt ? What an atrocious fight, Usyk needs to move up the moment this is ordered, the Ward boat has sailed regardless it proves zero Ward is retired…

Comment by Jewish-Reptile on 12-11-2018

[QUOTE=_Rexy_;19342429]Usyk takes over the division and now he’s just executing veterans from the top of the mountain now[/QUOTE] Yet does Usyk genuinely want to waste his time with this shyt ? What an atrocious fight, Usyk needs to move up…

Comment by Dasmius Shinobi on 12-10-2018

I am not against this fight. I bet my 7 acres land that Usyk is going to win this easy. This is a great scalp in his resume while staying active. I want Usyk to fight next the winner of…

Comment by Randall Cunning on 12-10-2018

Only reason I see Usyk taking the fight is if a Ward fight is realistic. If Usyk/Ward is to be a reality Usyk has to fight Lebedev first to keep all the titles intact.

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