By Alexey Sukachev
Oberhausen, Germany - In a battle for the vacant WBA 'regular' heavyweight title, Manuel Charr (31-4, 17 KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over Alexander Ustinov (34-2, 25 KOs). The scores were 115-111, 116-111 and 115-112.
Coming in, Ustinov had won seven in a row since suffering a knockout loss in his first career defeat at the hands of Kubrat Pulev on Bulgaria in September of 2012. Ustinov was in the ring back in May, when he blew away Raphael Love in Bolton.
Charr has had to deal with injuries and layoffs in the last few years. Coming in he had won two in a row, but this was his first fight in over a year after winning a unanimous decision over Sefer Seferi in September 2016.
Charr will now have to make a mandatory defense of the title against Fres Oquendo, and the overall winner will get a crack at the WBA's 'super' champion at the weight - which is currently Anthony Joshua.
Charr must reach a deal with Oquendo by December 22 or the WBA will send the fight to a purse bid and there would be a 50-50 split between the boxers.
In the bout, Ustinov for the most part was clubbing Charr all over the ring in the first round - with Charr landing a counter here and there but not enough. Ustinov continued to press in the second round. He was pushing Charr back and throwing a lot of punches. Not all of them were landing, but Charr was not throwing enough punches back. He was starting to work his way into the fight. A cut opened up above the left eye of Charr.
Both had some moments in the third, but it was Ustinov with more of the work. Charr was a bit wild and missing many big punches. Charr was doing very well in the fourth, jumping in with punches as they were trading shots. The rounds were really messy in the fifth and sixth. Ustinov still had the edge with his workrate.
In the seventh, Charr rocked Ustinov at the start of the round and unloading with big shots on Ustinov's chin. Ustinov was unsteady on his feet and all over the ring as Charr continued to pepper him with hard shots for most of the three minutes.
Charr as resting at the start of the eight after wasting a lot of energy in the round prior. Ustinov also appeared to be tiring. Charr soon got back on the front foot, pushing Ustinov back and landing the better punches. Near the end of the round, Charr landed a hard left hook that dropped Ustinov down and cut him under his right eye at the same time.
Charr started off the ninth by jabbing his way in and pushing Ustinov back. Charr was tagging Ustinov with hard shots. Ustinov was tired and the steam was lacking from his shots. Ustinov came out swinging and pushing the pace at the start of the tenth. Charr took off the round as Ustinov did most of the work in there.
In the eleventh, Charr was cutting off the ring and landing the effective punches to the head and body. Charr was coasting for most of the twelfth round. He was still outhustling Ustinov during those three minutes.
Also in action, Polish super featherweight Marek Jedrzejewski (13-0, 12 KOs) blitzed Hungarian Karoly Gallovich (10-6, no knockouts) in a manner that was far faster than this note was being written. It took him just 49 seconds to drop his foe three times with savage body shots, the latter two being considered knockdowns, the last one - for the count.