Ruslan Chagaev vs. Fres Oquendo possible for June 7th for vacant WBA regular heavyweight title
By Dan Ambrose: #3 WBA Ruslan Chagaev (32-2-1, 20 KO’s) has a potential bout against 41-year-old #6 WBA Fres Oquendo (37-7, 24 KO’s) for the vacant regular WBA heavyweight world title on June 7th Grozny, Russia, according to the BILD. This is for the WBA title that was previously held by Alexander Povetkin. The World Boxing Association has two world champion belts for the heavyweight division. Wladimir Klitschko has the upper level WBA Super World heavyweight title in his possession.
It’s still unclear whether this fight will take place of not, as it’s still in the planning stage.
The WBA’s rankings seem a little out of whack compared to what the other sanctioning bodies have for their top fighters. Chagaev is aging fighter who hasn’t done a whole lost since losing to Klitschko in 2009 and Povetkin in 2011. Chagaev’s victories in the last 5 years have come against largely weak opposition instead of top level fighters, and it’s hard to understand why the WBA has him ranked so high given the poor opposition he’s beaten since 2009.
These are the guys that Chagaev has beaten since 2009: Carl Davis Drumond, Kali Meehan, Travis Walker, Kertson Manswell, Billy Zumbrun, Werner Kreiskott, Mike Sheppard and Jovo Pudar. Those are guys that Chagaev should be fighting if he were looking to be a journeyman or if he needed a tuneup fight, but it’s troubling that these are the only fighters that Chagaev has beaten in the past 5 years.
Oquendo has beaten a slightly better class of heavyweights than Chagaev has recently. After losing back to back fights to Oliver McCall and Jean Marc Mormeck in 2010, Oquendo has won his last five fights since 2012 in beating Travis Fulton, Joey Abell, Robert Hawkins, Derric Rossy and Galen Brown.
If Oquendo has anything left, he should be able to beat Chagaev if he doesn’t get nailed by one of Chagaev’s hard left hands and right hooks. Chagaev is a decent puncher, and he could give Oquendo some problems if he lands his shots.