WBN caught up with trainer Abel Sanchez just before Denis Lebedev decided to retire in order to discuss as failed fight with Arsen Goulamirian.
At the time, Goulamirian was in the dark as to why Lebedev refused to go through with a WBA order to fight.
It’s now emerged that Lebedev has hung up his gloves for good.
Speaking regarding what’s next for Goulamirian, Sanchez was firstly asked why the clash collapsed in the first place.
“Denis Lebedev and his team decided not to fight Arsen, they didn’t want such a tough fight,” Sanchez exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I don’t know what the WBA has mandated now but we will fight who we have to.
“We are talking about a fight in the fall. Just not sure on a date yet.”
On what he hoped for over the next twelve months for the cruiserweight, Sanchez concluded: “I would like to see unifications.
“The division has many interesting matchups. I want Arsen to be at least a two-belt champion.”
Addressing his retirement on Thursday, Lebedev wrote a message on his Instagram account.
“It is high time to say goodbye to big sports,” said the Russian veteran. “As a true man, husband and father I must focus on my great family. I must do the best to give those dearest to me my full attention.
“However, life does not stand still, and together with you all we are going to do good deeds – be they big or small – for our country and our youth.”
Lebedev won the WBA title in 2012 before claiming the ‘super’ version five years later.
Without a fight on the horizon, the 39 year-old decided to call it a day, rather than pursue another payday.
An opponent for Goulamirian will be announced in due course. At least the interim WBA title is expected to be on the line.
Goulamirian would have been given a full shot if Lebedev agreed. But due to the champion’s retirement, the ‘super’ championship is disbanded until another ruler earns it.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay