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Denis Lebedev ends retirement, fights Thabiso Mchunu on December 21st

Lebedev originally retired in July

International boxing event in Sochi, Russia Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

Well, that didn’t last long.

Less than four months after announcing his retirement from boxing, longtime cruiserweight standout Denis Lebedev is set to lace up the gloves once again, taking on South African veteran Thabiso Mchunu on December 21st.

I’m not surprised he’s back, just that it only took this long.

Lebedev (32-2, 23 KO), who was named WBA “champion in recess” during a lengthy layoff and reinstated as “super” champ after Oleksandr Usyk’s move to heavyweight, had been in talks with “regular” champion Arsen Goulamirian for a unification match. Said talks fell through, leading to his retirement, but the 40-year-old apparently still has the itch.

Mchunu (21-5, 13 KO) has historically lurked just below the cruiserweight elite, trying and failing to find a breakthrough win against the likes of Ilunga Makabu and Oleksandr Usyk. He’s currently in the lower part of the WBC top 15 at 200 pounds.

If Lebedev’s still got it, more power to him, and credit for facing a genuinely capable opponent rather than cannon fodder in his return

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