By Yuri Tarantin
Denis Lebedev’s former manager and presently Andrey Ryabinskiy’s partner, Vladimir Hryunov, shared his thoughts on the cancelled rematch between Guillermo Jones and Lebedev. Lebedev vs. Jones fight was called off with just a couple of hours remaining before its scheduled start after the Panamanian’s drug test (sample A) was found to be positive with traces of furosemide.
“During the last year, the international boxing community was carefully looking at the circumstances, surrounding the first fight between Guillermo Jones and Denis Lebedev. That time Jones failed his post-fight drug test, and the championship regalia was returned to Denis. Don King tried to dispute that decision, and we kicked off negotiations for a rematch. That was the WBA’s resolution. Negotiations have been going on for merely half a year, and during this period Don King was doing everything to manipulate with time and conditions, sensing he needs something different [to that]."
"He tried to get all the money irrevocably before the fight. Then he attempted to drag out the whole case for as long as he could, thus a final agreement was reached just ten days [before the match]. However, one point that was finally solidified in the agreement was related to the drug testing. It has been agreed upon that fighters would be tested both before and after the fight.
"After that, the WBA appointed a fully independent international laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland to perform this testing. Probes were taken and transported by a specifically designated German agency. It was the same agency, which was used by Wladimir Klitschko before his fight against Alexander Povetkin. At about 7 or 8 PM the positive result had been reported to the WBA official supervisor Carlos Chavez, when both Jones and Lebedev were already at the arena. It was once again furosemide. The supervisor immediately held a meeting. And I want to specifically point out the great work, performed by both Sergey Bondar and Vadim Kornilov, co-managers of Lebedev.
"The solution, taken by Andrey Ryabinskiy and Denis Lebedev was the only correct one with those circumstances. Everything was based upon protection of the fighter’s health and interests. I want also to thank Andrey Ryabinskiy and to share my impression of his brave attitude and behavior in front of a massively disappointed crowd, announcing the cancellation on air to the entire nation. It takes somewhat specific bravery to behave like that.
"Also, the WBA supervisor explicitly pointed out a paragraph in the WBA’s Rules and Regulations, which prohibited the possibility of the fight. The fight was cancelled, and the WBA headquarters was informed about that in a written form. Then this ruling was confirmed by the WBA. Surely, Team Jones can appeal to have their 'B' sample disclosed.
"Once again, Don King tries to make it look the way he is totally clean and innocent and has nothing to do with the entire case. How can he be not related to this story?! Firstly, RUSADA and then an independent source – they both confirm the presence of the very same substance. Guillermo Jones is one man, who intentionally breaks the rules and violates norms and standards of the sport. He should be DQed and we shall do our best to ban him for good. He had more than enough time to prepare for this fight in an honest way. He hasn’t done that. Now Denis Lebedev is an undisputed world champion, and Don King with Guillermo Jones are back to the States. I think it was Don King’s last voyage and that was his last champion. And all this disappointment and anger of the fans should be addressed to King and his fighter”.
Yuri Tarantin covers boxing for Allboxing.ru