Mahmoud (Manuel) Charr didn’t waste any time once he finally made his way to the ring.
The former secondary WBA heavyweight titlist ended a 42-month hiatus on Saturday, picking up his quickest win in more than eight years in the process. The feat came in the form of a 2nd round knockout of unbeaten cult favorite Christopher Lovejoy in their heavyweight clash Saturday evening at Box Gym in Cologne, Germany.
Charr—a Syrian heavyweight based out of Germany—floored Las Vegas’ Lovejoy (19-1, 19KOs) roughly one minute into the 2nd round, with Lovejoy given a count before the contest was waved off at 1:11 of round two.
Action was slow out the gate, though the real thrill was in both fighters actually making out of their respective dressing rooms and ready to fight. Lovejoy was repeatedly threatened with legal action by estranged Hall of Fame promoter Don King, who claims to still have papers on the 37-year-old heavyweight. Whether or not that will prove true is for a courtroom to decide.
Lovejoy dismissed such claims in recent days, proudly strolling to the ring for his first fight since last February and the first ever time he has fought outside of Tijuana. It came against an inactive Charr, who has seen several fights fall through for a variety of reasons since a 12-round win over Alexander Ustinov in Nov. 2017.
Charr and Lovejoy were due to appear in separate bouts on a January 29 show in Hollywood, Florida, only for neither to make it to the final lineup. Charr was unable to secure a travel visa in time to face Trevor Bryan, a matter which resulted in his being stripped of the WBA “World” heavyweight title and over which he and promoter Erol Ceylan have filed a lawsuit.
Once both heavyweights made it to the ring on Saturday, the difference was evident in conditioning and skill level. Lovejoy talked up a good game but had nothing but words to offer to Charr, who was content to box in the opening round.
Charr picked up the attack in round two. A flurry of shots had Lovejoy cornered and in trouble before being sent to the canvas. Odd camera angles turned to a celebratory Charr as Lovejoy was counted and deemed unfit to continue. The moment was commemorated with a cartwheel by Charr, who advances to 32-4 (18KOs) with the win, his fourth in a row.
Lovejoy heads home with the first loss of his career and a potential legal battle if King has his way.
The bout aired live on BILD+ in Germany.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox