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Ruslan Chagaev vs Matt Skelton

As reported last week, Matt Skelton (21-1, 18KOs) was on the verge of landing a title shot at WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev (23-0-1, 17KOs). Promoter Frank Warren sealed the deal for Skelton and the fight takes place at the Burg-Waechter Castello in Dusseldorf on January 19. The fight was initially eyed for February or March, but Chagaev was demanding an earlier return.

"I am completely healthy and I am ready to fight, I want to get in the ring," said Chagaev. "It will be a hard fight against a good puncher."

Warren was not the only promoter trying to negotiate a shot at the WBA title. Don King was pushing hard for Kali Meehan to land the Chagaev fight, for the same date of 1/19, exceptKing was eager to place the bout on the undercard to the Roy Jones-Felix Trinidad pay-per-view at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Skelton, the Commonwealth (British Empire) heavyweight champ, is coming off a string of big wins over Michael Sprott and Danny Williams. Sprott's only loss is to Danny Williams in 2006, which he avenged later that year.

Chagaev has not seen action since an April decision win over the Russian giant Nikolai Valuev. He was set to unify with WBO ruler Sultan Ibragimov, but later pullled out due to illness.

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