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Russian Cruiserweight Boxer Beats American Rival, Seeks to Face Ukrainian Ace

© Sputnik / Alexander Kondratyuk / Go to the photo bankDenis Lebedev (left) is seen after beating Turkish boxer Hizni Altunkaya on September 7, 2018
Denis Lebedev (left) is seen after beating Turkish boxer Hizni Altunkaya on September 7, 2018 - Sputnik International
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The champion-in-recess, Denis Lebedev, 39, is now all set and ready to take on the undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk. The World Boxing Association has obliged the two to face off within the next three months and a half.

Denis Lebedev, the former Russian IBF and WBA cruiserweight champion (32-2, 23 КО), outclassed the unbeaten American boxer Michael Wilson (19-0, 8 KO) in Monaco on Saturday with a 12-round, unanimous decision (119-109 twice and 116-11).

The 39-year old Lebedev assessed his performance as "four out of give" and added that he would like to square off with Oleksandr Usyk from Ukraine, who holds all four belts and has never been defeated.

Lebedev held the WBA title in 2012-2018 and the IBF title in 2016. In February 2018, WBA demoted him to their "champion in recess" for his long absence from the ring due to injuries and endorsed a cruiserweight between IBF champion Murat Gassiev and "regular" champion Yunier Dorticos for the WBA world title.

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Gassiev defeated Dorticos and unified the titles; later on, he lost the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight final to Oleksandr Usyk, who became the undisputed cruiserweight champ. WBA issued a resolution saying that Lebedev and Usyk should hold a fight before March 10, 2019.

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