One way or another, Mahmoud (Manuel) Charr plans to fight on Saturday night.
Christopher Lovejoy promises to remain that opponent, even attempting to start at least one fight during the ceremonial pre-fight weigh-in.
A heavyweight matchup faced with threats of lawsuits appears to go forward in present form, with Charr and Lovejoy due to collide Saturday evening at Box Gym in Cologne, Germany. Charr weighed 111.5 kilograms (roughly 245 ¾ pounds) for his first fight in more than three years, while the unbeaten Lovejoy checked in at a beefy 139 kilograms (roughly 306 ½ pounds) for the occasion.
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” vowed Lovejoy, prior to shoving Charr at half-force during the obligatory staredown.
Charr has not fought since a November 2017 points win over Alexander Ustinov. With the win came the WBA “World” heavyweight title, along with several fight cancellations and ultimately his title being stripped due to an inability to travel to the United States for a planned title defense versus Trevor Bryan on January 29 in Hollywood, Florida.
The matter remains the subject of a lawsuit, though Charr (31-4, 17KOs) will proceed with his career as WBA “Champion in Recess.” Despite his lengthy inactive stretch, it’s the 36-year-old Syrian heavyweight—now based out of Cologne—who remains the sure bet to fight on Saturday.
Lovejoy (19-0, 19KOs) insists the fight will move forward, claiming his contact with Hall of Fame promoter Don King expired earlier this month. The 37-year-old heavyweight from Las Vegas by way of Los Angeles has seen four fights fall through due to accepting terms without King’s permission, and at least on one occasion while under contract for another scheduled fight.
King made such claims earlier in the promotion for this event, which will mark Lovejoy’s first career fight outside of Tijuana. He hasn’t fought since a 1st round knockout of Misael Sanchez last January at Big Punch Arena, attempting to ride out the remainder of his promotional contract before moving on with his career as a free agent.
Event promoter Erol Ceylan insists the show will go on this weekend. A contingency plan is in place should Lovejoy fail to make his way to the ring, though all signs point to the scheduled main event remaining intact.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox