Russian Denis Lebedev quits boxing after defeat to South African Thabiso Mchunu
Trainer Sean Smith predicted that battle-marked veteran Denis Lebedev would quit boxing after receiving a beating from South African Thabiso Mchunu.
The Russian did just that in front of his followers at home after a defeat to Mchunu in a fight for the WBC Silver cruiserweight belt on Saturday night.
Lebedev is the 40-year-old former WBA champion who has been a pro boxer with huge success since 2001.
The tough as teak left hander - who boasts wins over respected boxing icons including American Roy Jones Jr and Englishman Enzo Maccarinelli among others - retired eight months ago.
But he changed his mind and was matched with the sleeping giant of South African boxing for the title that was vacated by South African-based Congolese Ilunga "Junior" Makabu.
Makabu‚ who is trained by Damien Durandt‚ made his feelings known last week when he revealed that he vacated the title just for Mchunu.
"I am rooting for my brother to win this belt‚" said Makabu who is hard in training for the vacant WBC cruiserweight title fight against No 2 contender Michal Cieslak from Poland.
Makabu is rated No 1. Their fight will take place in Congo early in January.
Mchunu was rated No 8 prior to ending the illustrious career of Lebedev who announced his retirement immediately after his defeat at the Ivan Yarygin Sports Palace in Krasnoyarsk‚ Russia.
Lebedev suffered a lopsided points decision.
The scores were 120-107; 119-108 and 115-112 all confirming his third defeat in 36 fights.
Mchunu‚ a left hander like Lebedev but who goes by the moniker "The Rock"‚ improved to 22 wins in 27 fights.
Mchunu from KwaXimba‚ Cato Ridge in Pietermaritzburg‚ is the reigning SA and ABU champion.