WBC #6 rated heavyweight contender Manuel Charr scored a ten round unanimous decision win over former world title challenger Kevin Johnson on Saturday night in front of 5,000 fans at Telekom Dome in Bonn, Germany. Both guys had their moments in a good action fight. Charr was the more aggressive fighter who kept on coming forward while Johnson landed a couple of decent jabs and counter punches.
With the hand injury to former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye postponing their fight, #8 WBC heavyweight contender Manuel Charr (23-1, 13 KO’s) has decided to take a stay busy fight against 330 lb. Russian journeyman Evgeny Orlov (13-1-1, 9 KO’s) in a scheduled 10 round bout on June 15th this month at the Karl Eckel Halle, Hattersheim am Main, Hessen, Germany.
#8 WBC heavyweight contender Manuel Charr (23-1, 13 KO’s) might be little more than just a fringe contender in the division, but he is quite good at pushing for fights against top fighters. Charr campaigned for a title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko last year and got it despite never having faced any real quality opposition.
The outcome was predictable with Vitali easily stopping the over-matched Charr in four rounds and leaving him a bloody mess. Now, Charr is looking to get a fight with former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye (26-2, 24 KO’s), and he recently tweeted a photo of himself holding up the severed head of Haye in a move to make fun of Haye having previously created a head of him holding the severed heads of Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko.
This was the same scenario with Haye talking himself into a fight with Wladimir but without the experience at the heavyweight level necessary for him to be successful.
The scary thing is Charr is considered to be the leading candidate for Haye’s June 29th fight in Manchester, which is slightly disappointing given that Haye’s manager/trainer Adam Booth had been talking big about how Haye’s next opponent would be a top 10 unbeaten contender. The last time I checked, Charr has been beaten by Vitali.
Exclusive interview by Dan Emicus
Having pursued kickboxing initially, what made you to want to switch to boxing?
“I started kickboxing because I liked combat sports. But I didn’t do it for a long time because it felt so easy to reach all my goals. I became German Champion and European Champion. There was no real hard competition. It didn’t feel like a big challenge to me. But I like challenges. I thought that in boxing it’s harder to get to the top. You can’t become European Champion in two years in boxing. And of course, it’s nearly impossible to make a living out of kickboxing while the best boxers in the world make good money. So that definitely contributed to the decision, too.”
From amateur kickboxing straight into professional boxing, how did you find the transition between two different combat sports? Most boxers with an ex-kickboxing background find it difficult to un-learn certain habits, such as engaging their opponents squarely, but you’ve never seemed to have such issues?
By Michael Collins: In a battle of recent former heavyweight title challengers, Dereck Chisora (15-4, 9 KO’s) might be facing #8 WBC Manuel Charr (22-1, 12 KO’s) in a still to be determined venue in Germany in March. The Charr-Chisora fight should be an interesting fight if it happens because both fighters can pack a punch but are unfortunately too deeply flawed to capture a world title at this time. Both fighters are crude brawlers so this should be an appealing fight for boxing fans that like to see a lot of slugging.
Charr, 28, never gave Airich a chance, as he opened up with everything in his arsenal, hitting him at will with shots until knocking him to the canvas with a left hook to the body. Airich stayed down and the fight was halted by referee Daniel Van De Wiele at 0:44 of the round.
Charr threw everything but the kitchen sink at him until knocking him down with a left to the body.
Charr, #8 WBC, lost previous fight to WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko by a 4th round cut stoppage. Charr was over-matched in that fight and he looked like he didn’t belong in there with him. However, if Charr can keep beating journeyman opposition like Airich he should get another world title shot in a year or two.
By Jeff Sorby: #8 WBC heavyweight contender Manuel Charr (21-1, 11 KO’s) returns to the ring tonight to face Russian Konstantin Airich (24-8-2, 18 KO’s) in a battle for the vacant WBC Baltic and WBC Mediterranean heavyweight titles at the Maritim Hotel, in Cologne, Germany.
To start off the night’s festivities, HBO showed a replay of forty-one year old Vitali Klitschko’s 4th round TKO destruction of Manuel Charr at the Olimpiyskia in Moscow, Russia. After the fight, announcer Jim Lampley asked Larry about the possibility of David Haye remaining a thorn in the side of the Klitschko brothers. Larry reminded Jim about Haye’s “Loser’s Limp” display done after his fight with Wladimir when he removed his shoe to show everyone his injured little toe. The implication was that was the reason for his loss. In Larry’s deliberate manner, he said Haye should have removed his shorts, which would have revealed the the real reason for his loss. It was obvious Larry meant we wouldn’t be seeing any Fruit of the Looms.
Well, Dr. Iron Fist had his boxer shorts on while showing a total disregard for anything Charr might try to do. Vitali kept both hands low, inviting Charr to try something. Charr’s strategy seemed to be to tire out Vitali by letting him tee off on him? Well, let that be a lesson to fledging boxers. If you simply hold up what you hope is a tight guard, but don’t punch back, your opponent is going to find a way to penetrate your defense, as did Vitali. Soon he was getting through with a variety of shots, and by the third round a cut had developed over Charr’s right eyelid. In the fourth, Referee Guido Callverli stopped the action long enough for the ringside physician to take a look. After twice wiping away a considerable amount of blood, the doctor said no go, and the fight was stopped. Larry and Max Kellerman thought it might have been a little premature. They alluded to Moscow’s lack of experience with world title fights. Lampley pointed out the physician seemed to have a German sounding name and not a Russian one, for all that’s worth.