After it seemed like Denis Lebedev would finally defend his WBA cruiserweight title, another setback in the negotiation table has further delayed his in-ring return.
A report from Boxing Scene stated that Vadim Kornilov, who is Lebedev's manager, revealed the progress, or lack thereof, for a fight between Lebedev and Arsen Goulamirian. Kornilov said negotiations have not gone well mainly due to the financial terms. Kornilov added that Lebedev would have received far less money than in previous fights.
“We negotiated with the team of Goulamirian, but in the end the conditions of the French side were unacceptable, as the financial terms that were offered by them were significantly lower than the level of money that Denis has received in the past, even for his non-title fights. We'd like to hold this fight in Russia, but the time frame set [by the sanctioning body] has limited this opportunity," Kornilov said.
The two sides agreed to terms on a fight deal in June, canceling a purse bid the WBA had scheduled. Even though both sides agreed to a deal, they still needed to send the WBA the finalized contracts in order to make the title bout official.
Originally, Lebedev, the WBA's "Super" champion at 200 pounds, was supposed to face secondary titleholder Beibut Shumenov, but those two were never able to make a fight happen. Shumenov was no longer listed as the secondary champion afterwards with Goulamirian being elevated from Gold champion to "Regular" titleholder. Lebedev has not fought since winning a 12-round decision against Mike Wilson last November in Monaco.