By Alexey Sukachev and Inna Lagun (Allboxing.ru)
According to the recently published story, WBA is eyeing a WBA interim-heavyweight championship between #2 ranked Luis Ortiz (19-0, 16 KOs) of Cuba and #3 Ruslan Chagaev (30-2-1, 19 KOs). However, the former WBA champion and a two-time amateur heavyweight champion (1997, but was later stripped of his title, and 2001) denied those rumors in a talk with Inna Lagun of Allboxing.ru.
“Recently, I have heard rumors and later I’ve read an interview with a boxing commissioner, who said that a fight between me and Cuban (Luis) Ortiz for the WBA interim championship is coming soon. According to him, negotiations with Felix Strum were entering the final stage, and the agreement was within his grasp. It’s not correct. Felix Sturm is my buddy; once he kindly agreed to give me a spot in his card, when I had asked him, and I’ve conducted a single bout under his promotion, and not signed any long-term contracts with him. He has no rights whatsoever to represent me in such negotiations. He is not involved into building my future. I’m a free agent, and I’m the only one to decide my own future in boxing," Chagaev said.
"Negotiations with irresponsible persons and incompetent statements showed me the notable lack of professionalism of Team Ortiz. Luis Ortiz is a good boxer, but I’m not planning a fight with him anytime soon. The status of the mandatory challenger gives you some preferences but it also dictates some of the rules to obey and sets some unnecessary constraints: you should sit and wait for as long as a year for a champion to conduct a defense against you. I was in such a position earlier in my career, and I don’t need this anymore. I don’t want to put my career in stagnation mode. I also don’t plan to perform for the sake of being active, staying busy."
"Several months ago my second appearance under Sturm’s promotion had been planned. My virtual opponent had been changed not once but thrice during that period. When certainty had finally taken its place, I had been informed I would be fighting Mike Perez, a lefty from Ireland by way of Cuba. It was a hard and expensive task finding suitable sparring partners, but five days before the fight I was told I had to take on Yakup Saglam. It’s irresponsible and venturesome to fight a righty after getting prepared for a lefty. It’s prizefighting, you know. I have nothing personally against Saglam, but I’m not interested in fighting him. Such a fight gives me absolutely nothing. Recent derogatory comments by Manuel Charr, when he stated I was afraid of Saglam, are ravings of a madman and also a silly attempt to justify his refusal to fight Chisora in favour of Saglam."
"I’m planning my ring return in early spring. Right now I have set my camp in the Motorcity of Detroit to train in a new Kronk Gym under Sugar Hill’s tutelage. I train twice a day, setting an accent on conditioning."
"As for the fights and my preparations, I want to thank Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya. Thanks to him I have a plethora of opportunities to advance further in my career. He is a good friend of mine and he has supported me all way through, as he does for an entire sport not only in the Chechen Republic but also outside of it”.
Meanwhile, Team Sturm has already confirmed that it has no conjunction with Ruslan Chagaev. “Chagaev has never been under our contract”, said the company’s tweeter.
“He is a free agent. We have no connection with Team Chagaev and we aren’t planning to invite him to take part in our promotions”.
Chagaev returned in the ring the last year after suffering his second career defeat in a rough fight against Alexander Povetkin for the WBA “regular” heavyweight championship in August 2011. Chagaev scored three wins, outpointing Kertson Manswell in January and stopping Billy Zumbrun and Werner Kreiskott in April and in September respectively. Chagaev is ranked #6 by the IBF. Ortiz is also rated #8 by the WBO and #13 by the WBC.