Despite being floored in the first round by a solid left hook from Ukrainian challenger Viacheslav Uzelkov (22-1, 14 KO), Beibut Shumenov (10-1, 6 KO) managed to climb up from the canvas and cruise his way to a comprehensive unanimous decision victory in 110 degree heat at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, Lemoore, California.
In his first defense of the WBA light heavyweight title, Shumenov scored a knockdown of his own at the end of the third, staggering an off-balance Uzelkov with perfectly timed shots. He went on to dominate an entertaining fight, silencing his doubters with a performance that merited a place in the top 10 at 175 pounds.
Despite the heat, Shumenov continued his impressive punch output throughout the fight, and Uzelkov had no answer from his peek-a-boo stance, constantly blinking following exchanges and neglecting his jab during the fight. Shumenov showed significant improvement since his gift decision victory over Gabriel Campillo in January, as he continued to play the aggressor despite a cut over his right eye.
The judges scored the fight 118-108 twice and 117-109 all in favour of the Kazakh titlist. The Boxing Tribune scored the fight 117-109.
On the undercard, hot prospect Rico Ramos (17-0, 9 KO) scored a convincing eight-round unanimous decision win over Cuauhtemov Vargas (15-4-1, 10 KO), winning via scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73. The Boxing Tribune scored the fight 79-73 for Ramos.