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Lebedev to face 39-year-old Mormeck next June

Image: Lebedev to face 39-year-old Mormeck next JuneBy Dan Ambrose: Newly crowned interim WBA World cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev (24-1, 18 KO’s) is going to be looking for an old name in his first defense of his World Boxing Association belt in a fight against former 39-year-old WBA/WBC cruiserweight champion Jean Marc Mormeck (36-5, 22 KO’s) in early June.

Mormeck, who will be turning 40 on June 3rd, will be moving back down from the heavyweight division where he’s been fighting for the past three years. Mormeck recently was beaten by IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko by a 4th round knockout last month on March 3rd.

It was a wise decision for the 5’11” Mormeck to move back down in weight to the cruiserweight division, as he doesn’t have the size to compete with the bigger heavyweights in the division like the Klitschkos, and he was much better fit at cruiserweight. In his last fight at cruiserweight in 2007, Mormeck was stopped by David Haye in a fight in which Mormeck had Haye on the canvas.

Lebedev stopped the big hitting Shawn Cox (16-2, 15 KO’s) by a 2nd round knockout on Wednesday night in Russia. Lebedev knocked Cox out with a big left hand to the head in the 2nd. Cox fought reasonably well in the 1st round, landing a few jarring shots to the head and sending Lebedev off balance from one particularly hard left hand. By the end of the 1st round, Lebedev’s nose was bleeding from some of the big lefts he had absorbed. However, Cox looked uncomfortable when Lebedev started landing left hands in the round, and complained to the referee on a couple of occasions about a low blow and a rabbit punch. In the 2nd round, Lebedev fought like a completely different fighter compared to the 1st round, coming forward and nailing Cox with one big left after another. Soon he had Cox hurt and backing up to the ropes. Lebedev then finished him off with a left cross that put him down on the canvas. Cox tried to get up but was too hurt to make it to his feet. In between the 1st and 2nd rounds, Lebedev’s trainer Kostya Tszyu gave Lebedev a big pep talk and obviously gave him directions to be more aggressive because he looked much different in the 2nd round.

There was talk of Lebedev facing WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck next in a rematch of their fight in 2010 where Huck beat Lebedev by a controversial 12 round split decision. However, Lebedev looks like he’s going to squeeze in a fight against the aging Mormeck next. Lebedev has faced nothing but older fighters since his loss to Huck, beating 43-year-old Roy Jones Jr., 43-year-old James Toney and 37-year-old Cox.

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