LAS VEGAS – Kazakhstan’s Beibut Shumenov retained his World Boxing Association light heavyweight world title Saturday with a 12-round unanimous decision over Mexico’s Enrique Ornelas.
All three ringside judges scored the bout 120-108 as Shumenov made the fourth defense of the title he won in 2010 with a split-decision victory over Spanish southpaw Gabriel Campillo.
Shumenov, 28, improved to 13-1 with eight knockouts.
Ornelas, 31, a former super middleweight world title challenger, fell to 33-8 with 21 knockouts.
He had booked his title shot with three victories last year, including a first-round stoppage in December of countryman Heriberto Gutierrez.
However, he couldn’t solve Shumenov, who set the tone with a big first round.
Shumenov, a 2008 Olympian, had hoped to face Canada’s Jean Pascal or Britain’s unbeaten Nathan Cleverly, but each of those fighters wanted a home-nation edge, according to Shumenov promoter Don Chargin, while Shumenov sought to fight in his homeland or Las Vegas.
Saturday’s victory perhaps opened the door to a bout with unbeaten International Boxing Federation champion Tavoris Cloud or another US fighter, once-beaten Chad Dawson.
Cloud, 24-0 with 19 knockouts, will defend his crown against Pascal in Montreal on August 11 while southpaw Dawson, 31-1 with 17 knockouts, meets unbeaten US super middleweight Andre Ward in September.