By Vadim Pushkin
According to manager Vladimir 'Krasivyy' Hyrunov, his heavyweight Alexander Ustinov (33-1, 24KOs) will face either David Haye or Manuel Charr for the WBA interim-heavyweight title.
Ustinov was scheduled to face Luis Ortiz for the WBA interim-belt. The Cuban fighter was reluctant to face Ustinov in Russia and the sanctioning body eventually stripped him of the belt for defying their mandated order. The teams for Ortiz and Ustinov had a dispute over the drug testing protocol.
Ustinov then felt, since the WBA 'regular' and WBA 'super' titles were both vacant, that he would be in line to fight Lucas Browne or Wladimir Klitschko for either belt. He wasn't given the opportunity to fight for either, as Klitschko's 2017 showdown with Anthony Joshua was approved for the WBA super title and Browne was ordered to fight Shannon Briggs with the WBA regular title at stake.
After speaking with the sanctioning body, Hryunov expects an interim title fight against Haye or Charr. Haye already has a guaranteed shot at the WBO belt. He was tabbed as the mandatory challenger to the December fight between Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz, who fight for the WBO belt and have 120 days to face Haye.
"Alexander Ustinov has reserved the right with the WBA to hold a championship fight, said Hryunov. "And I think that in the next two weeks a contract will be signed with one of the boxers holding a high position in the rankings. This fight will be for the WBA's interim championship. And there will be negotiations with the two most likely opponents, who are both known boxers... David Haye and German Manuel Charr."
"Wladimir Klitschko used his exclusive right to hold a unification bout and WBA therefore only allows him to meet with Joshua, instead of Alexander. If the selected opponent for Ustinov will be Haye, then the fight will take place in England. And if the opponent will be Charr, then it happens in Germany."