LAS VEGAS (June 1, 2009) – Team Ruiz has filed an official petition with the World Boxing Association asking that heavyweight Ruslan Chagaev be stripped of his “Champion In Recess” status and demanding an immediate purse bid for Valuev-Ruiz III to be held by August 30 for the World Boxing Association heavyweight title..
Two-time WBA heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz (43-8-1, 29 KOs) is the WBA mandated Official Challenger for WBA heavyweight champion Valuev.
Team Ruiz’ petition stated, “As you are aware Ruslan Chagaev has been medically disqualified from participation in the fight against Valuev. According to the express ruling of the WBA on this issue he must accordingly be stripped of any title and Valuev must be ordered to fight John Ruiz, the Official Challenger before August 30, 2009.
“For the record John Ruiz is ready, willing and able to fulfill his obligations as the Official Challenger within the time dictated by Championship regulations, and he demands that no decision regarding this issue be made unless he has an opportunity to be heard by the Championship Committee, unless it is to order a purse bid for the bout between he and Valuev no later than August 30, 2009.”
WBA ruling dated Feb. 2, 2009.
Relating to Chagaev’s obligation to fight Valuev: (par. C, p. 3)
“If Chagaev should incur another injury or other impediment that would prevent him from defending against the Champion, he will vacate whatever title he may hold and will be correspondingly lowered in his ranking.”
“I’m ready to go,” Ruiz said. “I’ve been in the gym working hard because I knew something like this would happen. The WBA has to stand by its rules and order a purse bid for Valuev to fight me for the WBA heavyweight title and strip Chageav. This is the third time he hasn’t been able to fight for one reason or another. In baseball he’d be out. How many chances is the WBA going to give this guy? I wish they’d let the fighters in-line for a title shot know, so we’d all have a better idea about when somebody else will be fighting for that title.”
“According to the WBA’s specific rulings,” Ruiz attorney and advisor Anthony Cardinale explained, “it’s over for Chagaev as ‘Champion In Recess.’ Chagaev was medically unable to engage in this fight (vs. Valuev) and the WBA ruling stated he would lose his status if he was unable to fight – no excuses. The WBA mandatory rules revert back and Valuev has to make a mandatory defense by August 30, 2009. The WBA heavyweight title can’t be held hostage. It’s obvious that unsafe medical regulations in Germany regarding Chagaev’s medical condition do not apply anywhere else.”
Team Ruiz demanding purse bid for Valuev-Ruiz III
Upon today’s announcement that Valuev-Chagaev II has been canceled, Team Ruiz is demanding an immediate purse bid in order for Valuev-Ruiz III to be held by August 30 for the World Boxing Association heavyweight title. Two-time World Boxing Association heavyweight champion John Ruiz (43-8-1, 29 KOs) lost to Valuev last August 30th in Berlin by 12-round split decision. Team Ruiz petitioned the WBA for a variety of reasons regarding the conduct of the fight and in response to the appeal, the WBA declared Ruiz as its mandatory challenger for the winner of the Valuev-Chagaev title fight scheduled for this weekend in Finland.
“Enough is enough,” Ruiz said. “Chageav has never fulfilled his obligation to fight mandatory defenses. German promoters have gotten their way with the WBA in the past, but the WBA has to do the right thing – strip him of his title and drop him from the ratings. I knew something would happen because he is either injured or it’s something else where he doesn’t fight. That’s why I’ve been working so hard at the gym in Las Vegas to get ready. I’m glad that this situation will finally be settled and I’ll be fighting for the title”. Team Ruiz believes the consistent rumor that Chagaev has Hepatitis B was the reason he failed his medical exam, noting that since the rumors began, Chagaev hasn’t fought outside of his home-base in Germany.
“We believe Chageav’s ‘Champion in Recess’ is now completely meaningless,” Ruiz’ advisor Anthony Cardinale explained. “He last fought for the WBA title in April of 2007 and he owed Valuev a mandatory when he got hurt last year. Now this has occurred and he should be stripped of that title and removed from its rankings. If the rumors are true, where can he fight outside of Germany, and how was he even allowed to fight there? Valuev hasn’t defended his title since August 30, 2008 and John is the mandatory challenger.
“The WBA ruled that, no excuses, Chageav had to engage in this fight or he would be stripped of his ‘Champion In Recess’ title. The WBA is legally obligated to follow its ruling in this regard. Without this ‘Champion In Recess’ nonsense, Valuev is obligated by WBA rules to defend the title against the mandatory challenger – John is the WBA mandatory challenger — before August 30, 2009, which is why we’re asking the WBA to set-up an immediate purse bid so the fight can occur in a timely fashion. ”
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