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Light heavyweight titlist Beibut Shumenov, idle for more than a year, will make his fifth title defense when he faces Tamas Kovacs on Dec. 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com on Friday.
The fight will be on the Showtime pay-per-view card headlined by welterweight titlist Adrien Broner against mandatory challenger Marcos Maidana. Shumenov-Kovacs, however, will not be part of the pay-per-view telecast. Instead, Schaefer said, it will take place immediately before on a "free view" on the pay-per-view channel as a bonus fight leading into the pay-per-view broadcast.
Shumenov (13-1, 8 KOs), a native of Kazakhstan living in Las Vegas, regained his belt in a controversial split decision in a rematch with Gabriel Campillo in January 2010. However, Shumenov has fought only sporadically since and has not fought since winning a unanimous decision against Enrique Ornelas in a June 2012 title defense in Las Vegas.
Now, Shumenov, a 2004 Olympian, is getting back to action after agreeing to a deal with Golden Boy, Schaefer said.
"Beibut is a very talented and exciting fighter in one of the best divisions of the sport," Schaefer said. "We have big plans for him and are excited to be working with him and his team."
Kovacs (23-0, 14 KOs), 36, of Slovakia, will be taking a significant step up in competition against his first name opponent after having had all of his previous bouts in Slovakia, Hungary and Germany.