Two-division World Boxing Association (WBA) World Champion Beibut Shumenov announced his comeback fight will be held July 7, against 30-1 Hizni Altunkaya for the vacant WBA Cruiserweight World title, in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Shumenov (17-2, 11 KOs), a 2004 Kazakhstan Olympian, retired last June due to an eye injury that required surgeries, forcing him to relinquish his WBA cruiserweight world title.
Shumenov vs. Altunkaya is a presentation of Shumenov’s company, KZ Event Productions, Inc.
The July 7th gala event will be part of the 20th anniversary celebration of Astana being the capital of Kazakhstan. Many political dignitaries from Kazakhstan and around the World are 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 honored 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 10th round of their May 21, 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.
The 30-year-old Altunkaya (30-1, 17 KOs), fighting out of Germany by way of his native Turkey, stopped Mathias Reinhardt in the opening round on the Vitali Klitschko versus Shannon Briggs World Boxing Council (WBC) Heavyweight World Championship card in 2010 at O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany.
In 2011, Altunkaya won a 12-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Salvatore Aiello (29-0) for the Interim World Boxing Federation (WBF) World cruiserweight title. The talented Turk added the vacant Global Boxing Council (GBC) Intercontinental cruiserweight crown to his collection in 2016, The only loss of his pro career was last year to former World Boxing Organization (WBO) Cruiserweight World champion Krzysztof Glowacki (26-1).
“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!”
Other fighters to be in action include four undefeated Kazakh prospects in separate bouts: middleweight Aidos Yerbossynuly (7-0, 6 KOs), super welterweight Bobirzhan Mominov (6-0, 5 KOs) and middleweight Ibragim Iskandarov (2-0, 2 KOs), and pro-debuting Mirzhan Rahimzhanov, who was Shumenov’s teammate on the 2004 Kazakhstan Olympic Boxing Team.
Opponents and other fights will soon be announced. All fights and fighters are subject to change.