When he realized that he had really done it again, former heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev went down to his knees on Sunday night at Ahmat Arena in Grozny, Russia. It was legendary Michael Buffer who announced Chagaev’s close but well deserved majority decision win (115:113, 115:113, 114:114) over Fres Oquendo which earned the 35-year-old Uzbek the WBA heavyweight championship for the second time in his career.
No other but Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov was the first to congratulate Chagaev in the ring. While the fight lasted Kadyrov even took charge as chief second coaching “his” champion in the corner. It was the leader of the Chechen Republic who brought this world title fight to Grozny along with promoter Timur Dugazaev (TEREK Box Event). Accordingly Chagaev thanked the President for all his help and support.
Tonight in Grozny, Russia, former WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev became a two-time champ, as he won a 12-round majority verdict over Fres Oquendo to pick up the “regular” WBA strap. The scores were 115-113 twice and 114-114. 35-year-old Chagaev is now 33-2-1(20). 41-year-old Oquendo, who felt he had won, fell to 37-8(24).
It was a bizarre night in many ways. The setting for the fight was quite impressive, as was the ring set-up and the pre-fight entertainment. The presence, too, of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov was quite unique. As for the fight itself, the action was intriguing enough in the early rounds, with southpaw Chagaev pressing the action in his usual bull-like fashion. Fast-handed, Chagaev out-jabbed the taller Oquendo, winning the early to middle rounds. Neither man was noticeably hurt, until Chagaev picked up a nasty cut above the left eye in the 7th.
There has been lots of confusion over the last couple of days regarding this Sunday’s (July 6th) WBA world heavyweight championship bout between Ruslan Chagaev and Fres Oquendo in Grozny. Rumors said that the fight was off after Oquendo failing to board his plane to Russia twice due to family issues. Possible replacements such as former world champion Shannon Briggs, WBA #9 rated contender Alexander Ustinov and former WBA international champion Alexander Petkovic were waiting in line to jump in as last-minute replacements to get a title shot.
Former world heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev is wrapping up training camp for his July 6th WBA world championship bout against Puerto Rican veteran Fres Oquendo on Grozny, Russia. The “White Tyson” has done most of his preparation in the Chechen capital training not only with head coach Artur Grigorian and his manager Timur Dugazaev but also with a “political heavyweight”: Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov who is a huge boxing fan and used to be a decent amateur fighter himself.
Kadyrov is one of the main factors of the world title fight landing in Chechnya. The President and his government support the promotion and are turning Grozny into a huge boxing ring for the event
There has been a lot of speculation, threats and falsehoods regarding Oquendo vs Chagaev. It has been great publicity for Oquendo vs Chagaev however. “I thought there was a a campaign against bullying?” laughed Lee Holiday, Oquendo’s manager when asked about the situation. “Fres Oquendo is not under any promotional agreement. It expired. There are no extensions or agreements that supersede that expired agreement.
Miami, Florida – August 20, 2013 – On August 20, 2013, legendary boxing promoter Don King and top-rated heavyweight Fres Oquendo congratulated WBC President Jose Sulaiman at Miami’s City Hall as he received the Key to the City of Miami by Mayor Tomás Regalado.
“This was a great ceremony and Sulaiman is one of the guys who does it right in and out of boxing,” said Oquendo, who is currently the WBC U.S. Silver Champion and the fifth ranked heavyweight in the WBA.
By James Slater: According to invaluable news site Fightnews.com, Puerto Rican veteran and long-time heavyweight contender “Fast” Fres Oquendo could be next for the mighty Wladimir Klitschko. “Dr. Steel Hammer” asked for permission to take a voluntary fight before his ordered defence against “regular” WBA heavyweight titlist Alexander Povetkin, and it looks like initial possibility Odlanier Solis is now out of the running and Oquendo, 35-7(23) is in pole position.
Of course, nothing is certain until contracts are signed. Still, Oquendo, now aged 39 and into his sixteenth year as a pro, is hoping he will get the next shot at the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO king.
“My manager (Tom Tsatas) is working on it and it’s possible that in the end Wladimir could face me on April 6th,” Fres told Fightnews.com. “I’m training to get in the best condition to rip his head off. Give me the opportunity and don’t avoid me!”
by Pavel Yakovlev, photo: Carlos Baeza – Fres Oquendo is ready for action, and his team is eyeing a showdown with power-punching Magomed Abdusalamov. Recently, Sampson Lewkowicz – Abdusalamov’s promoter — offered to match his fighter with any contender for “a sum of one dollar.” Oquendo’s manager Tom Tsatas is interested. “We accept, but because both guys are so high in the ratings, we want to make it an eliminator for the WBC’s #2 spot,” said Tsatas. “The winner will be in line for a title fight.”
Oquendo definitely wants the bout. “If they can make this fight, it will be a great Christmas gift for me,” he said. “I’ve seen Mago. He’s very strong. He has devastating power. He’s good, but I’m on a higher level. If I beat Mago, my next shot will be against Klitschko.”
In the latest WBC ratings, Oquendo is ranked 12th and Abdusalamov is 10th. Oquendo, a world-rated heavyweight for most of the past decade, has fought twice for world championships. He won three fights this year and has a record of 35-7 (23 KO’s). Abdusalamov, whose record is 16-0 (16 KO’s), is a former two time Russian amateur champion. The 31-year-old Dagestani is known for his pulverizing power: ten of his KO’s have come in the first round. Recently, Abdusalamov stopped former top contender Jameel McCline in two rounds.
By Pavel Yakovlev, photo by Joey Hill – Heavyweight contenders can sigh with relief…at least for a while. Fres Oquendo is out of action for six weeks due to a broken right hand. The injury occurred during the Boricua Bomber’s seventh round stoppage of Robert Hawkins last week. In the third round, Oquendo landed numerous crunching rights, twice flooring the brick-chinned Hawkins and nearly ending the fight. But by the end of the round, Oquendo’s right was throbbing with pain. The next day, an orthopedist confirmed what Oquendo and his cornermen suspected: that the hand was broken.
“My hand was in excruciating pain. I felt it for the whole fight after the third,” said Oquendo. “But I didn’t tell anyone. I just wanted to get the job done.” Oquendo compensated for the injury by switching his attack to the body, even though he continued to fire rights to the head. Oquendo’s manager Tom Tsatas explained, “Fres didn’t let up despite the pain. He knew Hawkins has a hard head, so he started driving both hands to the body. It worked.”
by Pavel Yakovlev – photo by Joey Hill – Saturday night, Fres Oquendo reminded the world that he is more than just a skilled technician: he can also bang. Oquendo made his point by stopping Robert Hawkins in seven rounds, dominating the action with crackling right hands and a hurtful body attack. The early finish surprised many, as Hawkins is known for his durability. Oquendo’s speed, punching precision, and power, however, overwhelmed Hawkins and rendered a knockout unavoidable.
After battering Hawkins with jabs and well-placed body punches in the first two rounds, Oquendo shifted his attack to the head. Hawkins was knocked down twice in the third, and absorbed punishment for several more rounds before retiring at the end of the seventh. Repeatedly, the sturdy and thickset Hawkins was rocked by Oquendo’s grenade-like rights.
“I put my combinations together, and I put a lot of pressure on him,” said Oquendo. “In the third, I hit him with a left uppercut and a right, and he went down. After that, I floored him with a left to the body. My speed and power were too much for him. He was hanging in there only because he has so much heart, but my punishment made him quit.”
Particularly satisfying to Oquendo is that the victory came by knockout. “I stopped a guy that Tua couldn’t stop,” he said. “I showed everyone that not only am I a jabber and a mover, but that I have a body attack, and that I can punch.”
Oquendo is now 35-7, including 23 wins by knockout. Presently ranked 14th worldwide by the WBA, He is now seeking an elimination bout against a top contender. A native of Puerto Rico who grew up in Chicago, Oquendo holds the WBA Fedlatin title.