It was just last year when the boxing world thought it had seen the last of Beibut Shumenov, but Shumenov has not only returned to the ring, but is back to winning world titles.
Shumenov returned to action for the first time since 2016 and dominated Hizni Altunkaya in Kazakhstan, knocking him down in the first round and eventually stopping him in nine rounds to win the WBA cruiserweight title.
It was an impressive display by Shumenov, who started the fight dropping Altunkaya with left hand to the body. Shumenov then outboxed Altunkaya, eventually knocking him down a second time in the ninth round. Altunkaya’s corner had seen enough and didn’t let Altunkaya get out of his corner to fight in the 10th round, awarding Shumenov the win and the title.
A two-division world champion, Shumenov was one of the top boxers at 175 lbs. and 200 lbs. throughout most of his career. After a successful amateur career, Shumenov made his debut in 2007 with a lot of promise. He was pushed to the world title picture in just his eighth fight where he lost a majority decision to Gabriel Campillo with the WBA light heavyweight title on the line in 2009. Shumenov would then get his revenge the following year, winning the title by split decision.
Shumenov would then hold on to the title all the way to 2014 when he lost a split decision to Bernard Hopkins in a title unification. Shumenov then moved up in weight and won the interim WBA title in 2015, followed by a 10th round TKO win over Junior Anthony Wright to win the vacant WBA title in 2016. Shumenov did not fight afterwards, announcing his retirement from the sport in 2017 due to an eye injury.
As the WBA "regular" champion, Shumenov will be one of the names who could be the first to challenge the winner of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament. The winner of the Oleksandr Usyk vs. Murat Gassiev fight in Moscow on July 21 will be the unified WBA, WBO, WBC, IBF and Ring Magazine champion and with multiple WBA cruiserweight champions, the governing body will try to order a fight between Shumenov and the Usyk-Gassiev winner in an effort to cut down on the number of world titles per weight class.