Advertisement
Advertisement

Team Oquendo Moving Forward With Chagaev Clash

By Jake Donovan

One way or another, Fres Oquendo will have a fight on his hands.

The former two-time heavyweight title challenger hopes will be in the ring, as he is scheduled to face former titlist Ruslan Chagaev on July 6 at FC Terek Stadium in Grozny, Russia. However, an ongoing legal battle – which has already played a part in the bout’s delay – is threatening to disrupt those plans.

Oquendo’s co-promoters, Hitz Boxing and Square Ring announced on June 21 that a joint lawsuit has been filed to protect their exclusive promotional rights in regards to the heavyweight.

“A couple of days after the fight was postponed to July 6, we were contacted by Malte Mülle-Michaleis who advised Square Ring and (Hitz Boxing) that he represented Timur Dugazaev and Terek Box Event, and that they had been directed by the governmental authorities in Grozny to negotiate a deal with us,” promoter Bobby Hitz revealed in a statement accompanying the lawsuit announcement. “We did negotiate a deal and were advised that the financial terms had been agreed upon.

“After that, they went completely dark on us in regards to signing the paperwork. We tried through some back channels to reach the authorities in Grozny and sought assistance from the WBA (whose “regular” heavyweight title is on the line), but essentially our rights continue to be disrespected... Hitz Boxing and Square Ring worked long and hard to get this title shot for Fres and while it what we wanted for Fres, we are not going to sit idly by while our rights are disrespected. Everyone involved in this fight can expect a much bigger battle in the courts.”

As July 6 inches closer, Oquendo and his team don’t seem too concerned about their travel plans being canceled.

“I thought there was a campaign against bullying?" quipped Lee Holiday, Oquendo's manager in regards to the threat of a lawsuit.

Attorney Hector Morales, representing Oquendo’s team added: “Fres Oquendo is not under any promotional agreement. It expired. There are no extensions or agreements that supersede that expired agreement. That is my legal opinion. Period."

Oquendo (37-7, 24KO) has won five straight heading into the bout, just his second outside of the United States. His lone trip abroad resulted in a controversial points loss to Jean Marc Mormeck in May ’10, which was followed by a shocking points loss to aged former champ Oliver McCall in yet another fight that many believe should have gone his way.

Controversial decisions are hardly unique in Oquendo’s career, having also landed on the wrong end of suspect scoring in bouts with James Toney and then-heavyweight titlist Chris Byrd in Sept. ’03.

Chagaev also enters the bout on the heels of a five-fight win streak, most recently decisioning Jovo Pudar last October. Interestingly, the bout came on the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko’s 12-round win over Alexander Povetkin to gain recognition as the “unified” WBA heavyweight champion, in addition to his slew of belts and his recognition as lineal heavyweight champ, which dates back to his own win over Chagaev in June ’09.

Prior to the fight, Chagaev reigned as heavyweight titlist, beginning with a 12-round points win over Nikolay Valuev in April ’07. His reign lasted two years, but only saw two successful title defenses before he was stripped in 2009. An attempt to reclaim his title resulted in a decision loss to Povetkin in August ’11.

Given Klitschko’s established title reign, few will respect this fight as a genuine title fight. Oquendo and his team are well aware of that, and view this opportunity as more of a chance to prove their worth in the title picture, while establishing their own willingness to face Klitschko with a win.

“For those proclaiming Fres or Chagaev are not worthy of this belt, we will say that Fres has more experience than any heavyweight other than the current super champion Wladimir Klitschko,” insists Tom Tsatas, Oquendo’s adviser. “Mr. Chagaev is a former world champion with only two defeats to world champions. They are both willing to fight each other for the opportunity to fight the Super Champion rather than run away like others for fear of losing to the WBA behemoth.

“We respect and congratulate Mr. Chagaev and Mr. Dugazaev for the opportunity and the WBA for approving this bout in Grozny. We are extremely excited for the new adventure and opportunity of visiting this new and exciting place at this time in our lives.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America.
Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines De La Hoya: Canelo-Smith Will Have Up To 60,000 Fans at Venue! Frampton: The UK Has 14 World Champions - Not All Are Legit! Gerard Carroll To Fight Twice In Eight Days De La Hoya: Canelo-Golovkin Won't Take 6 Years, But Not Now Daniel Geale vs. Renold Quinlan, Vacant IBO 168 Belt on 10/14 Tom Brown Reflects on The Lost Art of Building a Fighter Amir Khan Plans To Fight in January, May and December Caleb Plant Dominates De Angel in PBC on FS1 Main Event Jhonny Gonzalez vs. Hirotsugu Yamamoto Card Coming Together Canelo-Smith on Pace To Outdo Pacquiao, Says Golden Boy VP Video: Abel Sanchez on Brook, Andre Ward, 160 Landscape Video: Loeffler Talks Brook-Golovkin, Jacobs, Carl Froch, More Video: Gennady Golovkin Talks Kell Brook, Unification, More Video: Roman Gonzalez Talks Cuadras Clash, Training Camp LaRon Mitchell Expects Tough Fight With Mario Heredia Luis Ortiz Brushes Off Golden Boy Split, Vows To Batter Ustinov Video: Gennady Golovkin Putting in Work For Kell Brook Fight Gervonta Davis, Floyd Mayweather at Odds, Sosa Bout in Doubt? Errol Spence Over The Moon With MONSTER Rating of 6 Million Liam Smith Warns: I'm Coming in There To Knock Canelo Out! Orlando Salido vs. Takashi Miura Showdown in The Works Eddie Ramirez-Kevin Watts Top FS1 on PBC, September 13 Luis Ortiz, Golden Boy Promotions Officially Part Ways Lemieux vs. Stevens Still Being Worked on, Says Golden Boy VP Jessie Vargas Reflects on The Kell Brook Fight Falling Out Saunders Trashes Eubank Jr. and His Father: Stop Talking Sh*t! Kell Brook: I'm Not Done With 147, I'd Fight Errol Spence! Del Valle Vows To Take The Fight To De La Hoya on Canelo-Smith Luke Campbell vs. Derry Mathews Set For October 15 Margarito Still Aiming For Canelo, Major Opponent in The Fall Kovalev's Coach: Ward's Lack of Power Will Be Biggest Drawback Eubank Frustrated: Golovkin is Running Scared, He Lost Respect! Eduard Troyanovsky-Keita Obara Card Coming Together For 9/9 Nicola Adams To Ponder Next Career Move, Will She Go Pro? Dereck Chisora: I Want Pulev Rematch, I'm Ready To Face Anyone Rio Team Summary: Uzbekistan Tops Cuba, Makes HUGE Splash Cameron Hammond: Commonwealth Shot Is Career Launchpad Deontay Wilder's Manager: The Goal is Still To Unify The Division McCullough Pleads With Amir Khan To Avoid McGregor Disaster Tony Yoka, Estelle Mossely Hailed By France as The Golden Couple
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement