By Vadim Pushkin
On July 25th, the WBA World Championships Committee issued a resolution to strip Ruslan Chagaev (34-3-1, 21KOs) of his WBA 'regular' heavyweight title - for not fulfilling his mandatory commitment within the specified time period.
Chagaev was reinstated as champion after getting knocked out by Lucas Browne of Australia in March. Browne failed a post-fight drugs test and the outcome was annulled by the sanctioning body - but the outcome has yet to be officially changed and continues to stand as a TKO win for Browne.
Upon regain the status of champion, he was immediately notified of his obligation to fight with mandatory challenger Fres Oquendo.
Oquendo became the the mandatory challenger to Chagaev by way of legal battle and an issued court order. Chagaev was notified several times of the mandatory obligation - but the WBA's Championships Committee received no response from the fighter and therefore they had no choice but to strip him.
Chagaev has been located. According to his promoter and manager Timur Dugazaev, the two-time former champion has decided to retire from boxing because there are issues with his vision. In 2001 he had surgery to correct an issue with his left eye.
"Ruslan told us that he would no longer fight, and his reason is due to the current health of his eyes," Dugazaev said.
Meanwhile, Oquendo maintains his mandatory status within the WBA's title tournament to establish a single champion in heavyweight division.
Other fights in the tournament include the showdown between WBA interim-champion Luis Ortiz and Alexander Ustinov -possibly taking place on September 17, and the rematch between WBA 'super' champion Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko on October 29th.