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Ustinov To Face Briggs or Oquendo For WBA Belt, Says Manager

By Vadim Pushkin

Russian heavyweight boxer Alexander Ustinov (33-1, 24KOs) will fight to hold for the "regular" championship of the World Boxing Association (WBA) on the 25th of February against either Shannon Briggs or Fres Oquendo, according to  the Russian boxer's manager Vladimir Hryunov.

Ustinov has been in limbo ever since the WBA's planned heavyweight tournament fell apart. The sanctioning body ordered a tournament to establish a single WBA world champion in the division, but entire bracket system went in the toilet due to injuries, failed drug tests and fighters dropping out.

Ustinov, inactive since December 2015, was ordered to fight then WBA interim-champion Luis Ortiz. The fight fell through after both sides were unable to agree on the drug testing terms.

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As it stands right now, Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko will battle for the vacant WBA "super" title on April 29th. The winner of that fight will have to make a mandatory defense against Ortiz. Briggs had been ordered to face Lucas Browne for the vacant WBA "regular" title, but Browne failed a pre-fight drug test.

"Now the situation is somewhat frozen due to the Christmas holidays," said Hryunov to Oleg Bogatov. "Alexander needs to fight for the WBA regular title, and the opponent will or Briggs or Oquendo depending on the decision taken by the WBA. I spoke to our promoter Frank Warren in London and he confirmed the working date for the fight is February 25th, but it remains to be seen who will become the opponent for Alexander."

"The city which will host the match is not determined yet. I can say that a purse bid for the organization of the fight will not happen - because both boxers have been sent a proposal, and they accepted it. Alexander has already started to prepare for the battle that will take place in February. The sparring partners will come into play for the next stage of his training, at the end of January."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by TOBYLEE1 on 12-27-2016

[QUOTE=original zero;17310397]oquendo fought chagaev for the title on short notice in 2014. oquendo took the fight on short notice because chagaev agreed to a rematch clause. when oquendo sought to enforce the rematch clause, chagaev refused to honor it. oquendo…

Comment by Red Skull on 12-27-2016

[QUOTE=RuslanChagaev;17310601]No! I know, he uses PEDs but I think he will easily beat Ustinov in a clean fight. Even formless Shannon Briggs and Oquendo can beat Ustinov. :boxing:[/QUOTE] Hmm, Ortiz beat Ustinov yes I think so but Brigg and Oquendo…

Comment by K Man on 12-27-2016

There we go..the WBA will be opening a new can of worms of positive-tested winners ... more lawsuits to come!

Comment by RuslanChagaev on 12-27-2016

[QUOTE=Pepe The Frog;17310549]And Ortiz is a clean athlete?[/QUOTE] No! I know, he uses PEDs but I think he will easily beat Ustinov in a clean fight. Even formless Shannon Briggs and Oquendo can beat Ustinov. :boxing:

Comment by Red Skull on 12-27-2016

[QUOTE=RuslanChagaev;17310408]Is Ustinov still alive? I had not heard his name for a long time. LOL! I do not believe that Ustinov is a clean athlete. He was making excuses not to fight against Ortiz.[/QUOTE] And Ortiz is a clean athlete?

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