Fres Oquendo has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in Manhattan against Hamburg-based promoter Terek Box Event seeking damages of $5 million and an injunction to prevent the promoter from promoting Ruslan Chagaev in any bouts until it first gives Oquendo the rematch he was promised.
On July 6, 2014 in Grozny Chechnya, Oquendo fought Chagaev for the vacant WBA regular World Heavyweight Title that became vacant after Wladimir Klitschko defeated Alexander Povetkin in October 2013. Chagaev, the home town favorite and adopted son of President Kadyrov, was awarded a majority decision with one judge ruling the fight a draw and the other two judges finding for Chagaev by only one round.
“I am really looking forward to my day in court and finally getting justice,” said Oquendo. “These guys pulled a really slick move and tricked me into fighting on July 6 by promising me to increase my purse to $1 million and giving me a rematch at a time when I wasn’t mentally right, with my wife and newborn baby being sick and in the hospital.
"Well, now they are the ones behind the eight ball. They’ve got until January 2 to respond to the lawsuit.”
Oquendo also is in the process of appealing a December 3, 2014 WBA resolution which suspended Oquendo until December 6, 2014 for allegedly having tested positive for a women’s breast cancer drug by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). Oquendo claims that he has proof that RUSADA violated the World Anti-Doping Code (WADA) because RUSADA leaked his results to a person not affiliated with the promotion and that this leak proves that the representatives and agents at RUSADA conducting the testing violated the testing protocols and cannot be trusted.
He also claims that as soon as they found out about the leak, he got tested in the U.S. by the same lab that does the testing for the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and that the results were negative. Oquendo also claims that he insisted on being tested by the Swiss Anti-Doping Agency for his fight in Chechnya but that he was forced to take the RUSADA test against his will and was forcibly driven back to the Arena to be tested. Additionally, Oquendo is appealing the WBA’s denial of his protest regarding President Kadyrov being permitted to climb up onto the ring apron between rounds to coach and encourage Chagaev in clear violation of the WBA rules.
The fight was originally scheduled for June 7th but the promoter was not prepared and rescheduled the fight to July 6th in breach of its agreement with Oquendo. Given the new date, Oquendo warned the promoters that his wife was due to have their child the week of the fight and asked for the date to be pushed back another week or two. The promoter claimed that Ramadan would not allow that, an excuse that Team Oquendo later learned was a ruse.
Oquendo arranged to have his wife artificially induced so the child could be born before he left for the fight; however, due to complications, his wife and child had to be hospitalized and he was not mentally capable to doing the fight.
“That week I received over 200 phone calls, emails etc., a lot of them alluding to threats on Fres’ life, my life and our families if we didn’t go,” claims Tom Tsatas, Oquendo’s advisor. “I have reported this to the FBI and I have sent them the emails. They promised us everything to get us over there, but in the end gave us nothing.
“Once we got there, everything changed. We were not allowed to leave the hotel grounds and we were only able to eat at one place inside the hotel. One member from our team was told in the elevator that if Fres knocked out Chagaev, none of us would leave the country.
Continued Tsatas: "After the fight we took Fres to the hospital for a brain scan and then he, our promoter and trainer were essentially kidnapped and forced by men carrying automatic weapons to go back to the arena and forced to submit to the RUSADA drug test.
"And when we were leaving the next day, at the airport, our passports mysteriously went 'missing' for over an hour while the promoter, complete with a firearm clearly visible on him, took us to a dimly lit back room and tried to renegotiate Fres’ $1 million purse by offering us a suitcase full of $200,000 in cash. Ultimately, to get out of the country, I actually had to sneak onto the plane using someone else’s boarding pass.”