Shumenov vacates title because of eye injury
Beibut Shumenov, dealing with a potentially career-ending eye injury, has vacated his secondary cruiserweight world title, the WBA has announced. With Shumenov moving aside, the sanctioning body also announced that interim titlist Yunier Dorticos has been elevated to the "regular" titleholder.
Shumenov (17-2, 11 KOs), 33, a Kazakhstan native based in Las Vegas, and Dorticos were scheduled to fight in their mandatory bout on April 29 at Sam's Town in Las Vegas, but the fight was called off when Shumenov suffered the eye injury in training about 10 days before the bout.
The WBA also announced that it has approved "super" titleholder Denis Lebedev (29-3, 22 KOS), 37, of Russia, to defend against Australia's Mark Flanagan (22-4, 15 KOs), 27, on July 10 in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
The Lebedev-Flanagan winner will have 120 days to then defend against Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs), 31, a Cuban defector fighting out of Miami, which would help fulfill the WBA's plan to reduce the number of titleholders in each division from three to one.
With the Shumenov-Dorticos repeatedly delayed, Dorticos has been out of action since winning the interim title by 10th-round knockout of Youri Kalenga in a blazing fight in May 2016.