Former WBA and IBF cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev has made it clear that he’s not planning to fight again, and this time he is serious.
Back on December 21, Lebedev came of retirement and lost a unanimous decision to South African puncher Thabiso Mchunu.
After the fight, the 40-year-old Russian said that he did not see the point in continuing his career.
Lebedev (32-3, 23 KOs) had previously retired, with his prior fight taking place in November 2018, but he maintains that this time is the final chapter and no farewell fight would be coming.
“I have already finished my sports career. I announced this. I have five children, this is a big responsibility. I need to raise my kids, they need me. I’ve slowed down a little, but I’m still full of strength and energy. I am ready to bring something else to the country, I’ll find something to do,” Lebedev told reporters.
“Earlier I announced the end of my career, but I just couldn’t sit on the couch, everything was giving me that itch. I watch fights and boxing is in every part of my body. And my heart was calling me to come back into the ring every day. Maybe I put a lot on myself, but I said that I’m taking this guy and I can beat him. The Boxing Federation of Russia supported me, organized the fight. I probably needed this fight (with Mchunu) to understand what was enough, it was time to finish. I already felt it when I was self-training and it didn’t work out, I couldn’t even cope with my sparring partners.
“Having entered the ring, I realized that when you sit on the couch – this is one thing [and getting back in there is another]. I had to win this fight, but I lost. It’s not that I lost, I just could not win. There was nothing especially masterful in the opponent, but I couldn’t cope with this. We have to find the strength in ourselves to say to ourselves – ‘enough.'”
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org