Kazakh professional boxer, Beibut Shumenov (14 wins, 1 loss, 0 draws, nine knockouts) returned to the ring in San Antonio, Texas, on Dec. 14 after a year and a half hiatus to successfully defend his WBA light heavyweight champion belt against Slovak Tamas Kovacs (23 wins, 1 loss, 0 draws, 14 knockouts).
Shumenov knocked Kovacs down twice in the first two rounds before knocking him out in the third round.
Kazakhstan has demonstrated that it is a boxing powerhouse in recent years through its boxing at the Olympics in Athens in 2004 and in London in 2012, by introducing Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin, who recently upset Steven Curtis at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 2 to the American audience and by the Astana Arlans semi-professional boxing team performance. The Astana Arlans just saw their first loss this year after a successful run with three series wins last weekend 1-3. They were beaten by a Cuban team.
Beibut Shumenov continued the buzz in the international boxing news by defeating Kovacs in the U.S.
Shumenov lost one bout before the match and Kovacs had seen no losses in his career, but the Kazakh boxer tried to draw his lines in the ring at the very first second. After some light exchanges, Shumenov knocked Kovacs down with a powerful straight to his face with only 13 seconds until the bell rang in the first round. Kovacs got up fast, but was stunned. Shumenov demonstratively marched him into a corner. At that moment, he knew he was not on the same page with his opponent.
Round two started with Shumenov seeking that one last punch. The Slovak tried to avoid Shumenov’s power shots. But the hard punching Shymkent-born Shumenov landed another hard one that sent Kovacs down with less than a minute to go. By the end of round two, it was scary to watch. Athletic, agile and speedy Shumenov looked lethal and the fight could have stopped at any second at that moment.
As anyone could guess, round three appeared to be too predictable, Shumenov was playing cat and mouse with Kovacs and with 10 seconds to go, he knocked him down yet again. Three knock downs in three rounds were enough for the ref and he stopped the fight.
Shumenov defended his title and now might face 48 year old Bernard Hopkins (54-6-2, KO 32) of the U.S. next.