The WBA has sanctioned a unification bout between WBA World cruiserweight titlist Denis Lebedev and his IBF counterpart, Victor Emilio Ramirez. Although the venue has yet to be determined, the scheduled 12-rounder will take place on Saturday, April 30.
Thirty-six-year-old Lebedev, a Russian, is a 15-year pro (28-2, 21 KOs) who first won the title by knocking out Santander Silgado in the fourth in December 2012, a title he lost to Guillermo Jones by 11th-round KO five months later. The southpaw regained his crown by knocking out Pawel Kolodziej in the second in September 2014. He successfully defended his title in his most recent fight, last November, by stopping previously unbeaten Lateef Kayode via eighth-round TKO.
Ramirez, who’ll turn 32 on March 30, is a 10-year ring vet (22-2-1, 17 KOs, 1 no contest) who won the interim IBF World cruiserweight title by beating Ola Afolabi via unanimous decision last April. The Argentine was elevated to full championship status when an inactive Yoan Pablo Hernandez was stripped of his title this past September. “El Tyson del Abasto” most recently fought last October, drawing against Ovill McKenzie.
The WBA originally intended Lebedev to defend his title against first-ranked interim WBA World titleholder Beibut Shumenov, but an injury suffered by the Kazakh opened the door to second-ranked Yunier Dorticos. Both fights have been put on hold, pending the outcome of next month’s unification bout.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.