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Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Denis Lebedev's title defense set

By Dan Rafael
ESPN.com

Cruiserweight titlist Denis Lebedev of Russia will make his second defense against Guillermo Jones of Panama on May 17 at Crocus City Hall in Moscow, promoter Don King announced Tuesday.

Jones (38-3-2, 30 KOs), who will turn 41 on May 5, is the former titlist who was stripped of the belt and reclassified as a so-called "champion in recess" because of his inactivity. He won the title in September 2008 but has fought only twice since, scoring knockout victories in defenses against Valery Brudov in 2010 and Michael Marrone in 2011.

"I tell the Russian fans who are ringside to be careful because there will be blood," said Jones, who is predicting a knockout victory inside five rounds. "I am the tiger but I don't speak Russian. No translator will be needed as my hands will speak for me."

During Jones' inactivity, Lebedev (25-1, 19 KOs) won the vacant interim belt in a one-sided beating of James Toney, made one title defense and then was elevated to the full titleholder.

The 33-year-old Lebedev made his first defense in December, knocking out Santander Silgado in the fourth round, also at Crocus City Hall.

Vlad Hrunov, Lebedev's promoter, put on Lebedev's previous two fights at the 7,000-seat Crocus City Hall, a three-year-old arena that he said is like "the Madison Square Garden of Russia."

King, who promotes Jones, won a February purse bid to gain promotional rights to the mandatory Lebedev-Jones fight, offering $712,000 to beat the bid of $357,000 by Hrunov. Under the terms of the purse bid, Jones will get 55 percent (391,600) of King's winning offer, with Lebedev entitled to 45 percent ($320,400).

Even though King won the promotional rights to the bout, he made a deal to co-promote the fight with Hrunov and Andrey Ryabinsky.

"My Russian co-promoters named the fight, 'The One Will Stand,' and it will be from Russia with love," King said. "This is a gigantic promotion between Russia and Panama and I want to thank Andrey Ryabinsky for making this possible. The Panamanian people and their president, Ricardo Martinelli, will be watching with great interest."

Said Lebedev, trained by fellow Russian and Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu, the former undisputed junior welterweight champion, "I'm glad Don, Andrey and Vlad have named the fight 'The One Will Stand' as I plan on being the last man standing at the end of the fight."