WBA cruiserweight titlist Guillermo Jones and interim beltholder Denis Lebedev have had an October 27 date in Moscow set for a while now. Or at least, so it seemed.
In mid-July, it was reported that a purse bid for the fight had been canceled, and a deal reached for the bout. Then a date was set, and a venue was reported, and it all appeared as good to go as any Guillermo Jones fight has ever been.
But theree have been rumors that the fight has been or will be canceled, leading to Lebedev's manager Vladimir Hryunov saying that even though the fight isn't officially set yet, it will be:
"Guillermo Jones must conduct the fight with Denis Lebedev - because this should reveal the true champion. If the parties are still unable to reach an agreement by Friday, then a purse bid will be held. But Jones-Lebedev is going to take place to identify the true champion."
Jones (38-3-2, 30 KO) is a notoriously inactive fighter, let alone "champion." He won his belt in September 2008, and somehow the WBA has chosen to not strip him despite the fact that he's made a whopping two title defenses, one in October 2010 and the other in November 2011, neither of which were against notable challengers (Valery Brudov and Mike Marrone). Surely, it has nothing to do with the fact that the WBA is based in Panama, and Jones is from Panama.
Don King promotes Jones, which is just about the perfect fit. King doesn't like putting on very many shows anymore, and Jones doesn't like fighting.
Lebedev (24-1, 18 KO) has recently gone on a world-famous old man headcracker tour, beating up out of shape James Toney and desperately shot Roy Jones Jr in 2011. He most recently had a pretty entertaining two rounds against Shawn Cox.
If this fight doesn't come off, it may be the least surprising thing in boxing since the last time an American fighter led off his post-fight speech with "First of all I just gotta..."