The 2004 Kazakhstan Olympian retired last June due to an eye injury that required surgery, forcing him to relinquish his WBA cruiserweight world title, but now he feels ready to claim yet another belt when he faces German born Hizni Altunkaya on July 7th.
Not known for taking soft touches, Shumenov (17-2, 11 KOs) challenges a game contender in Altunkaya (30-1, 17 KOs), a youthful cruiserweight who has beaten solid opposition in the past but will now be in with the best fighter that he has ever faced.
Taking place from the Barys Arena in Astana, next month’s event will be part of the 20th anniversary celebration of the Kazakhstan capital with many political dignitaries expected to attend Shumenov’s comeback fight.
“I’m happy to fight for my belt,” Shumenov said from his training camp in Kazakhstan. “My eye is 100-percent and I’m excited about fighting again. I’m honoured to fight on the 20th anniversary celebration of Astana as my country’s capital. After this fight, I want interim cruiserweight champion, Arsen Goulamirian.”
In only his 10th pro fight, Shumenov established the fewest-fights record for a light-heavyweight world champion, when he decisioned Gabriel Campillo in Las Vegas.
Shumenov became the only two-division world champion from Kazakhstan in his last fight, when he stopped Junior Wright in the tenth round of their May 21st, 2016 title fight, capturing the WBA cruiserweight world championship.
During the 34-year-old Shumenov’s professional career, he has defeated four world champions – Campillo, Byron Mitchell, William Joppy and Montell Griffin – as well as seven world title challengers: Epifanio Mendoza, Vlacheslav Uzelkov, Danny Santiago, Enrique Ornelas, Tamas Kovacs, BJ Flores and Wright.
Against Altunkaya he steps in against a younger fighter who is looking to bounce back following his only career loss, that being against former world champion Krzysztof Glowacki last year, to claim his first world title.
“I’m thankful for the chance to fight Beibut Shumenov,” Altunkaya said. “He’s a great fighter, but I will give him my best. We have optimum time to be fully prepared for the fight. It’s going to be a good fight. I’m coming to Kazakhstan to win!”
Jim McMunn, BoxNation Managing Director, said: “Beibut Shumenov is always involved in exciting fights and it will be great to see him back in the ring. The cruiserweight division is on a real high at the moment with a host of top names looking to stake their claim as the best in the division. Shumenov and Hizni Altunkaya will be out to prove that they are part of the mix by winning in style on July 7th as part of a fantastic fight card live and exclusive on BoxNation.”
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