Panamanian Jones, 40, has caught negative press throughout his fight-shy reign, which began when he stopped Turkey's Firat Arslan in 10 rounds in Hamburg back on September 27 2008.
Successful defences came by TKO against Russian Valery Brudov in Panama City in October 2010 - over two years after the championship win - and American Michael Marrone in Florida last November, while five other planned title defences were postponed or cancelled.
The Brudov bout came about after the WBA threatened to strip Jones of the title following two years of inactivity and a distinct lack of specific reasons given for fight postponements, but the governing body have finally decided to take action.
Russia's Lebedev defeated James Toney last year to be recognised as interim champion and following lobbying by his promoter Vlad Hrunov, has now been installed as outright champion following attempts by Jones to postpone their scheduled December 17 fight, which had already been moved once.
"It's just happened," Hrunov told Ria Nostovoi. "I presented my arguments to the congress in favour of awarding Lebedev the title."
Jones and 33-year-old Lebedev were initially due to meet in October before the two parties agreed to put the event back by two months. After attempts to delay matters once more, Jones' promoter Don King has tried and failed to salvage the fight - and his man's time as champion.
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