Lebedev could fight for WBO title if Huck gets stripped
By Eric Thomas: No.2 ranked World Boxing Organization cruiserweight contender Denis Lebedev (23-1, 17 KO’s) could possibly be fighting for the vacant WBO cruiserweight title if the current champion Marco Huck gets stripped by the WBO after he faces WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povtkin in February. Lebdedev would be facing #1 ranked WBO contender Ola Afolabi (18-2, 8 KO’s) for the vacant title.
However, if the WBA doesn’t strip Huck of his title, then Lebedev’s options are much less appealing. He reportedly would be looking to go after the 39-year-old WBA cruiserweight champion Guillermo Jones (38-3-2, 30 KO’s) or 43-year-old Antonio Tarver. The Tarver fight would likely make more money but Lebedev wants to win a title, and the Jones bout, if he can get it, would be a better fight.
Lebedev has been facing old timers for the past two fights, beating 42-year-old Roy Jones Jr. last May in a 10th round TKO, and then defeating 43-year-old James Toney by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision last month. If Lebedev faces yet another 40+ fighter, people might think he’s been combing the old folk’s home looking for his opponents. Lebedev needs to fight some younger guys because this isn’t good for him to be devoting so much time in his career to picking off the ones.
Lebedev lost a controversial 12 round decision to Huck last year in December in a very controversial loss. Lebedev has failed in getting Huck to give him a rematch and thus has been stuck just looking for fights to stay busy.
Tarver would be a good fight for Lebedev but also a tough one because Tarver still has a little left in the tank and might be able to pound out a decision if he can handle the southpaw Lebedev’s power.