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Beibut Shumenov to return against Hizni Altunkaya for vacant WBA title

Shumenov retired last year due to eye issues

Beibut Shumenov v Junior Anthony Wright Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

Hey, remember when the WBA was supposed to be getting rid of extraneous belts?

Light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion Beibut Shumenov, who retired last year due to an eye injury, is all set to make his return on July 7th in his native Kazakhstan. He’ll be facing Turkey’s Hizni Altunkaya for the vacant WBA cruiserweight title.

For background: Beibut once held that title. Then, after he retired, interim champ Yunier Dorticos was upgraded, after which the belt got subsumed by Murat Gassiev’s “Super” title when “Iron” knocked Dorticos out. The WBA literally had a whole process to go from three belts to one and now they’re resurrecting this one because boxing is dumb.

Oh, and there’s also “champion-in-recess” Denis Lebedev.

In any event, Shumenov (17-2, 11 KO) turns 35 this year and his best cruiserweight win is BJ Flores. Altunkaya (30-1, 17 KO) has an empty record and got thrashed so badly by Krzysztof Glowacki last year that he was down 42-50 when it finally got stopped between rounds. And one of these two will get to call himself a world champion after this.

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