Hall of Famer Don Chargin says that Beibut Shumenov, the current WBA light heavyweight titleholder, never turned down any offer to face WBO titlist Nathan Cleverly on February 25, despite claims from Frank Warren Promotions that Shumenov said he wouldn't be ready for that date.
The Warren press release said:
An offer went to WBA title-holder Beibut Shumenov to face Cleverly, but he said he would not be ready in time - although it could happen later this year.
Chargin says that in November, he contacted Warren about making a unification bout between Shumenov and Cleverly, and spoke with Dean Powell, Warren's matchmaker, about the fight on two occasions.
He also says that they offered a fight in Las Vegas recently, but didn't hear back. Cleverly is instead facing a very weak opponent in American Tommy Karpency on February 25 in Cardiff.
"I thought that it was strange to get an email just yesterday asking what it would take to get Beibut to come to the UK, especially where we had been talking by phone, and they never responded to our offer weeks ago for Cleverly to fight Beibut in Las Vegas," Chargin said via his own press release.
"The next day they announce a fight between Cleverly and Karpency? The truth of the matter is Beibut never turned down any fight against Cleverly because they didn't make an offer to us. We offered them a fight against Shumenov in Las Vegas and they never even responded to that offer, which, to me, means they turned it down.
"To say Beibut wouldn't be ready in time to fight Cleverly in two months is quite amusing. Beibut's been ready to unify since he first won the WBA title. I am terribly disappointed that they would make false statements like that."
Now there is, of course, promoter spin here, too: For as ready to unify as Shumenov has supposedly been, he's not only not unified, but he's faced some really poor challengers since winning the belt via highly disputed decision over Gabriel Campillo in January 2010.
Hopefully this is a fight that can become a reality later in the year, because right now these guys are both spinning their wheels with some awful matchups.