Denis Lebedev was born in Stary Oskol, Russia on August 14th in 1979. The southpaw began his professional boxing career in 2001 as a light heavyweight and won the Russian light heavyweight title. In 2009 Lebedev won the WBO Intercontinental cruiserweight title and the following year he competed in his first world title bout. Facing Marco Huck for the WBO cruiserweight world title, Lebedev was defeated for the first time in his pro career when Huck won a split decision over Lebedev.
In 2011 Lebedev defeated former world champions and future hall of famers Roy Jones Jr. and James “Lights Out” Toney in back to back fights. The fight against Toney was for the interim WBA cruiserweight title. Lebedev made one successful defense of the interim title and was declared world champion when Guillermo Jones was stripped of the title for inactivity. Lebedev made one defense of the world title before facing former champ Guillermo Jones in 2013.
Jones became the first man to stop Lebedev when he scored an 11th round knockout to reclaim his title but his title reign was short lived as he was found to have failed a post-fight drug test and Lebedev was declared champion once again. Lebedev made two title defenses and goes for his 3rd straight world title win late this year.