Junior Wright (15-1-1, 12 KOs), the tough as nails cruiserweight from Chicago spent the better part of Tuesday working in the paint department at his local Home Depot.
On Saturday the 29-year old with the electric smile will challenge Beibut Shumenov (16-2, 10 KOs) at the Chelsea inside the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas on the undercard of the Erislandy Lara vs. Vanes Martirosyan bout, which will air live on Showtime.
Wright, who is promoted by Dmitriy Salita’s Salita Promotions has won two straight since suffering his first professional defeat nearly a year ago in Moscow at the hands of Rakhim Chakhkiev.
Wright believes he’s learned a lot from that knockout loss and sees the Shumenov bout as a true test of where his career currently stands.
“I prepared well for the fight when I went to Russia but I didn’t adjust well to the different timezone,” Wright said. “I was very sleepy in the ring and didn’t have the energy I usually have.”
In the Kazakh-born Shumenov, Wright believes he will find a crafty fighter who uses his mind as well as his hands.
“Shumenov is smart, he uses angles and likes to move,” Wright said. “I know he won’t stay in one place too long but my job is to corner and beat the crap out of him.”
Shumenov is also riding a two-bout win streak since suffering a tough split-decision loss to Bernard Hopkins two years ago in Washington DC.
Shumenov outpointed BJ Flores last December at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas to win the interim WBA cruiserweight title.
The card will also feature identical twin brothers Jermall and Jermell Charlo in separate title bouts also televised on Showtime.
Photo by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing