WBA cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev may never be the same fighter again after suffering a terrible facial swelling in losing his title to former champion Guillermo Jones in Moscow.
The 33 year-old was embroiled in an all-out war with the Panamanian from the first bell, but in all honesty should have been stopped way before the eleventh round when Jones was finally declared the victor.
In one of the fights of the year so far, both boxers gave their all throughout, although ultimately Jones possessed the superior skills and regained the title he never lost in the ring by inflicting sustained damage on Lebedev’s right eye.
The Russian’s ailment was worse than those inflicted on Fernando Vargas and Antonio Margarito in recent years and when Lebedev was eventually pulled out, he resembled The Elephant Man more than a professional sportsman.
Calls for a rematch, which may well already be in the contract, will certainly be forthcoming, and it may only be a matter of how well Lebedev’s eye recovers as to whether we see him back in the ring with Jones again.
Earlier in the night, Eduard Troyanovsky and Dmitry Chudinov also remained unbeaten with early victories, although all fights beforehand were by far overshadowed by the headlining attraction of the evening and I would urge all who missed it to catch a re-run at the earliest opportunity.
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