Mahmoud ‘Diamond Boy’ Charr is ready to face Trevor Bryan—or at the very least, call Don King’s bluff.
The WBA heavyweight title consolidation clash appears to finally be in play, just in the nick of time as Charr has been cleared for a travel visa to make the trek from Cologne, Germany to the United States. On his end, it was the last remaining hurdle to clear in order to fight stateside, with his announced title clash versus Bryan (20-0, 14KOs) due to take place this Friday at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
“We will arrive in Florida on Tuesday and want this event to take place,” Erol Ceylan, Charr’s promoter told BoxingScene.com of the latest update in this ongoing saga. “The WBA ordered the fight and we are willing to make it happen.
“Diamond Boy has known for while that an opportunity to fight could come at any second. Therefore, he stayed in the gym and prepared for any possible challenge.”
The fight has been in limbo seemingly since it was first ordered by the WBA, who’ve allowed both boxers to retain their secondary titles for years without making a single successful defense. Charr (31-4. 17KOs) has not fought since Nov. 2017, when he outpointed Alexander Ustinov to win the WBA “World” heavyweight belt—a secondary version to the “Super” version currently held by Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22KOs).
A planned title defense versus Fres Oquendo in 2018 was pulled after Charr tested positive for a banned substance, resulting in a suspension and his being stripped of the title. The circumstances surrounding the opening and testing of his “B” sample without team representation present provided Charr with the necessary loophole to have his title reign reinstated and suspension lifted.
One of the conditions for the continuation of his title stay was that Charr would be subject to random drug testing ahead of any fight moving forward. Such testing has been secured and is underway for this fight, as contracted through Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency.
Bryan has been out of the ring since winning the interim WBA title in a 4th round knockout of BJ Flores in Aug. 2018. A title consolidation clash was ordered by the WBA, with a purse bid hearing held last March. Hall of Fame promoter Don King won the bid, posting a $2,000,000 offer for which he remains on the hook.
The coronavirus pandemic caused several more delays in staging the event, though the WBA felt compelled to get involved as King continued to stall. A firm deadline was placed for the fight to take place by Jan. 29th to avoid a purse bid default and the WBA taking additional action.
Since then, has come squabbling over the event actually taking place. Charr’s team awaited a returned signed contract and update on the status of his travel visa. Nevertheless, he remains ready, willing and finally able to defend his title.
“I worked very hard and pushed myself to the limit,” insists Charr. “I can’t wait to finally get back in the ring and move forward. 2021 promises to be an exciting year!“
All that he needs is for this event to actually take place.
King and his team were cryptic in revealing any key details, including whether the promoter ever officially booked the Hard Rock Live venue where the fight is supposed to take place.
The casino website does not list the event, nor is any employee aware of the establishment hosting such a card as confirmed through three separate phone conversations with BoxingScene.com within the past three weeks.
“The ball is now in Don King’s court,” notes Ceylan. “If he can’t get this together, then it’s not our fault.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox