The will-they, won’t-they dance between WBA cruiserweight champ Beibut Shumenov and interim champion Yunier Dorticos is officially over. After pulling out of their planned April showdown with an eye injury, Shumenov has vacated his title due to ongoing issues with the injury, elevating Dorticos to “regular” champion and at least temporarily eliminating the interim belt.
“Super” champion Denis Lebedev, who lost only his IBF title in his split decision loss to Murat Gassiev because boxing, is currently booked to face WBA #8 Mark Flanagan on July 10th. The winner will have 120 days to face Dorticos, who has not competed since brutalizing Youri Kalenga in May of last year.
Hopefully, Shumenov will be able to recover and resume his career. From a selfish fan’s perspective, though, this does open the door for the much more appealing Lebedev-Dorticos showdown, which has “Fight of the Year” written all over it.
Best of luck to Shumenov on his recovery; with just nineteen fights under his belt, he still has plenty of fight left in him if his eye obliges.