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.