Casino de Monte Carlo Salle Medecin, Monte Carlo – WBA cruiserweight champion “in recess” Denis Lebedev (32-2, 23 KOs), 39-years-old, won a wide twelve round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Mike Wilson (19-1, 8 KOs). The scores were 117-111, 119-109 and 119-109.
Lebedev lost his full title after being out of the ring for a long time due to injuries. He last defended the belt in July 2017. He finally came back in September of this year, to stop Hizni Altukaya in three.
Wilson was a huge underdog in the contest and had never fought anyone even close to Lebedev’s level.
Because of his “in recess” status, Lebedev is the mandatory challenger to WBA full champion Oleksandr Usyk, who also holds the IBF, WBC, WBO world titles. If Usyk moves up to heavyweight, as expected, Lebedev will become the full champion.
The first round was a feeling out process by both, with neither boxer doing too much. In the second round, Lebedev was cut around the right eye but it wasn’t clear if the injury came from a cut or a clash of heads. Wilson was landing good counters to the head, and Lebedev was digging to the body.
Lebedev was picking things up in the third with hard shots to the body of Wilson. In the fourth, Wilson was starting to look very ragged as his shots were missing and he was being countered with hard hooks to the body in the first minute. As the round played out, Wilson was being beat down and seemed to suffer a busted nose from the incoming shots, and a small cut around the left eye.
More of the same as the fight played out, with Lebedev controlling the action and doing more damage. There came a point where it appeared that Lebedev was content with going the full distance.