Old school boxing authority Don “War a Week” Chargin and WBA/IBA Light Heavyweight Champion Beibut Shumenov (11-1, 7KOs) pair up for “Fire & Fury,” tonight at the South Point Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and broadcast on Telefutura’s Solo Boxeo Tecate at 11:30 PM ET/ PT (10:30 PM CT).
27-year-old Beibut Shumenov, of Las Vegas by way of Kazakhstan, will square off against 39-year-old veteran Danny “The Bronx Bomber” Santiago (31-4-1, 19KOs), of Ocala, Florida by way of New York, in the 12 round light heavyweight championship main event, presented by KZ Event Productions in association with Golden Boy Promotions, Don Chargin Productions, Guilty Boxing, South Point Hotel Casino and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate and AT&T.
The under card features a 4 round junior welterweight tussle between Joel Diaz and Raul Gonzalez, as well as a 4 to 6 round junior lightweight bout pitting Lonnie Smith against Wilton Hilario. Also seeing action on the bill are KZ Event Productions undefeated pugs, WBA FEDALATIN Welterweight Champion Ravshan Hudaynazarov and WBA International Light Heavyweight Champion Gayrat Ahmedov.
MyBoxingFans caught up with “War a Week” Chargin last night on the eve the pair’s first scrap together, and the boxing legend had a few things to say about the WBA/IBA kingpin and their new found union.
“I came aboard a couple of months ago. He [Beibut] was after me to come and join his staff, but when he called me the first time over a year ago, I had just lost my wife and really wasn’t up to it then. Then several months ago he came to my home in Cambria, California, and it’s not easy to fly in, but he went through all that trouble and we talked. We talked for a couple hours and went out to dinner, and I told him that I would join him,” said Chargin over the telephone from the weigh-ins in Las Vegas.
Not only is Shumenov skilled between the ropes but quite talented between the ears as well. He and his brother Chingis are both lawyers who own and operate the earlier mentioned promotional company, KZ Event Productions which is based in Las Vegas, putting a full plate before the light heavyweight champion.
“Beibut has KZ Event Productions and I wanted to help take some of the pressure off him. He is so dedicated and works too hard, I want him to concentrate on boxing and leave the other stuff up to us,” intoned Don, adding, “our ultimate goal is, he had one fight in Kazakhstan and drew 30,000 people when he knocked out Byron Mitchell. Ultimately I have a meeting with the [Kazakhstani] Ambassador to the United States, and what we’re going to discuss is a major, major fight in a soccer stadium in Kazakhstan, providing nothing happens here tomorrow night. And if everything goes right Friday, he [Shumenov] wants me to stay over until Monday so we can spend a couple of days talking about the future.”
Don Chargin has been a manager, matchmaker and promoter for more than half a century, and is one of the most respected boxing minds in the game with a knack for noticing talent.
Shumenov won the WBA strap in only his 10th fight in the paid ranks, and got revenge doing so by defeating Spain’s Gabriel Campillo by split decision in a rematch, albeit a controversial decision, a win is a win, especially when you only had nine fights under your belt going in. Since then Beibut began training under Kevin Barry and has made noticeable advances in his last two outings, a 12 round decision over then undefeated Viacheslav Uzelkov and a 6th round KO of badly faded former middleweight titlist William Joppy.
“I’ll tell you one thing about him, I can see the improvements, I watched him work the day before yesterday and the upside of this guy is tremendous,” relayed “War a Week.”
Like so few in boxing today Beibut is somewhat of an anomaly, being that he is moving at such a quick pace early in his career and against good level opposition.
“I’ll tell you, I am very intrigued with this kid. Here’s a guy who’s 27-years-old, has had such a limited amount of fights and won the world title in just his 10th fight, he’s a warrior,” enthused Chargin.
Shumenov is a big powerful fighter with a 6-foot-2 frame, who looks to run over foe’s with sheer aggression. He doesn’t possess the technical skills of an elite light heavyweight, and whether he ever will remains to be seen but what he lacks in technicality, he makes up for with brawn and will.
“His style is straight ahead and bombs away, I mean this guy throws a million punches. I am just so pleased with Beibut, in all my years of boxing I have never seen anybody train as hard as him,” rejoiced Don.
2004 Kazakhstan Olympian Beibut Shumenov isn’t widely known in the United States, and before taking on the division’s best, as well as the other light heavyweight titilist, he is looking to catch the eye of the American public with TV dates such as his Solo Boxeo Tecate main event tonight against Santiago.
“The Bronx Bomber” Danny Santiago is tough but has never been more than a fringe contender, yet is a solid opponent to introduce Shumennov to the viewing public. Santiago has faced world class competition but hasn’t been very busy, only fighting twice since losing back-to-back in 2007 at the hands of Antonio Tarver and Zsolt Erdei.
When I pointed out to Don that Santiago has had weight issues in the past, Chargin stated, “when he [Santiago] came into town I weighed him. Four or five days ago he weighed 179lbs and he had a t-shirt and shorts on, making 175lbs isn’t going to be a problem for him.”
#9 Ring Magazine rated Shumenov shouldn’t encounter too much trouble navigating his way to a late rounds KO over Santiago. After a few more fights considering everything goes smoothly, we should see Beibut in the ring with the likes of fighters such as Tavoris Cloud, Adrian Diaconu or Glen Johnson. And then we’ll really know what the Kazakhstani is made of.
Just before our conversation ended Chargin had one last quote for MyBoxingFans in closing, “Beibut insist on fighting the best, and you just get that feeling when you’re around him, he is so dedicated and works so hard. I don’t want him to push it though, it will be 2 to 3 months before he fights again,” adding, “nothing distracts this guy, he’s all boxing and that’s it, that is all he thinks about.”