By Gleb Kuzin
We spoke with Denis Lebedev at the Global Boxing Forum in Sochi Russia.
The WBA just announced that Denis Lebedev will be stripped of their WBA “Super” World Cruiserweight Title and instead he will be given the title of “Champion-in-Recess”. Gleb Kuzin was able to speak with Lebedev at the Global Boxing Forum in Sochi Russia and he made sure to ask about this breaking news.
To give a bit of context, Lebedev’s possession of the title was somewhat controversial as he lost a decision to Murat Gassiev during his title reign and yet he was able to retain his status due to contrivances by the WBA. Yunier Dorticos had been the “Interim” WBA World Cruiserweight Titleist, and he will now gain the “Super” status. In an ironic twist, Gassiev will face Dorticos this weekend, which will finally allow to win the WBA “Super” belt.
Gleb Kuzin: Please comment on the WBA decision to strip you of the title and name you the champion-in-recess.
Denis Lebedev: Frankly, I think that it was a fair decision. I haven’t boxed for over a year now. You know I’ve been left with a right to fight the champion; what else do I need? Anyone else would have been kicked out [stripped of the title] way earlier considering the current situation [WBSS champions fighting each other] but they left me with the right to fight the champion, so I can thank them for that. And maybe I’ll wait for the WBSS tournament, and hopefully the WBO and WBA will allow me to fight the unified champion. It will be difficult to do so, but the WBA will make it happen. I still have one of belts so I will be happy if the fight[with the WBSS winner] will be made because it’s the dream of every champion. Fighting the champion of the tournament would be awesome. Winning the WBSS tournament will amazing achievement, so fighting that winner will mean fighting the best.
So no, I don’t have anything against the decision. No questions, no problems – everything’s fair.
Gleb: Who would you like to see as the eventual winner and your possible opponent?
Lebedev: Frankly speaking, I’ll agree with the bookies: it’s either going to be Usyk or Gassiev. But something inside of me tells me that I would love to square off with Murat [as the eventual winner of WBSS] and finish our business. Finish our business how — to leave no questions left. Some thought he won, some thought I did and the rematch would settle everything. But if Oleksandr Usyk wins, it would be a great fight as well. Amazing fight.
Gleb: In Kiev?
Lebedev: I don’t care where it happens, as long as everything is fair and square.
Sunday Puncher would like to thank Denis Lebedev for being generous with his time.
Exclusive: Denis Lebedev on the WBA’s Decision to Strip Him Of Their “Super” World Title was originally published in sundaypuncher on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.