Tonight at The Ice Mansion in Shymkent, Kazakhstan, WBA light heavyweight
champion Beibut Shumenov faces late replacement challenger, former middleweight
titlist William Joppy.
WBA/IBA Light Heavyweight Championship, 12 rounds
Beibut Shumenov: 175 lb
William Joppy: 174.5 lb
WBA Fedelatin Welterweight Championship, 12 rounds
Ravshan Hudaynazarov: 146.5 lb
Jose Cruz: 153.5 lb - over weight limit and therefore cannot win title.
WBA International Super Lightweight Championship, 12 rounds
Alexandr Zhuravskiy: 140 lb
Ruben Galvan: 144 lb - cannot win title
Interim PABA & WBA International Light Heavyweight Championships, 12 rounds
Gayrat Ahmedov: 175 lb
Tursunboy Abdullakimov: 165 lb
Beibut Shumenov: Saturday night's fight with Juergen Braehmer is no longer possible and the last four months I trained for this fight eight hours a day doing nothing but training. I dreamed of unifying both titles WBA and WBO the highest titles.
"He left without saying anything to anybody. It happened that Dan's team saw them leaving from the airport the same day. They asked why he was leaving and were told because of nausea and stomach problems. According to our country he had to see the doctor of the (Kazakhstan) federation but he blatantly refused.
"All of that was saying he wasn't willing to take the fight. Yes, I was disappointed, but now I'm fighting three-time world champion William Joppy. I won't underestimate his skills. His 30 knockouts are impressive."
William Joppy: I felt welcomed here when I first walked off the plane. We've been on a roller-coaster ride with the changing of opponents. Me and Beibut
have in common that we both trained for totally different style fighters. Beibut is a great fighter. I've watched some of his fights but there's not something I haven't seen before.
"And he's fought orthodox fighters before. I'm here to give a great, memorable fight like sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns in their first fight. I came here to fight Gayrat Ahmedov and fell into a world title fight. Wow! It's going to be a barn-burner."
Dan Goossen, Promoter: I want to thank everyone for the great hospitality and friendships from all the people we've encountered in Kazakhstan. There are
obstacles in any fight that have to be overcome, but this one was particularly tough.
"The last time we saw (Juergen) Braehmer he was leaving on a plane Monday. It was devastating for all of us, especially Beibut because he had trained so hard and long for this unification. He said from the moment it happened that he wanted to fight as world champion for his family and friends. William Joppy took-up the courage to fight for the WBA title."
Kevin Barry, Shumenov's head trainer: I respect William Joppy for stepping-up. I've been a big fan of his. We have a lot of respect for him as a fighter. I'm sitting beside my friend and fighter (Shumenov) who I believe is the best light heavyweight fighter in the world.
"We had a tremendous four months of training to fight Juergen Braehmer and I felt comfortable and confident going into the fight that Beibut would win two titles. When this promotion was sent upside down with Braehmer like a coward running out of town, it would have been easy for me as a trainer and Beibut to say the fight was off.
"We trained to fight a southpaw. Beibut doesn't want easy fights; he only wants big fights against champions or former champions. We were lucky and
fortunate to have 3-time champion William Joppy here