Manuel Charr defeats Alexander Ustinov – Results
By Tim Royner: After years of toiling away as a contender, Manuel ‘Diamond Boy’ Charr (31-4, 17 KOs) finally captured a world title in defeating 40-year-old Alexander Ustinov (34-2 25 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision to win the WBA World heavyweight title on Saturday night the König-Pilsener-Arena in Oberhausen, Germany.
The judges scored the fight 115-111, 116-111, and 115-112. Boxing News 24 scored it for Ustinov by the score 115-112.
Ustinov dominated the fight until round 7, when Charr was able to nail him with some hard left hands. One left seemed to hurt Ustinov in the round. By that point in the fight, Ustinov looked exhausted. Ustinov wasn’t getting pressured hard, but he was still tired by the second half of the fight.
It looked like Ustinov had aged since his previous fight against journeyman Raphael Zumbano Love. Ustinov knocked Love out in the 1st round. Ustinov got Love out of there so quickly that it was impossible to tell whether he had lost something from his game or not. Tonight though, Ustinov looked all of his 40 years. But even with Ustinov looking and fighting old, he still fought better and appeared to win more rounds than Charr. It looks like a case of Charr winning a hometown decision in Germany over the visiting Ustinov.
Charr spent much of the fight plodding into the huge 6’7”, 279-pound Ustinov’s right hands and left hooks.
Charr appeared to lose 5 out of the first 6 rounds of the fight. In the 8th, Charr knocked the fading Ustinov down with a left hook to the head. Charr failed to capitalize on the knockdown in the 9th and 10th, as he was outworked by the 6’7” Ustinov. Charr fought well in round 11, but then he gave up the 12th round by running the last half of the round and showboating. It was as if Charr realized had the fight in the bag, so he didn’t even need to fight had.
With the win, Charr captures his first world title of his 12-year pro career in winning the WBA heavyweight title. Charr now must start negotiations with 44-year-old #3 WBA Fres Oquendo (37-8, 24 KOs) for his first title defense. The World Boxing Association owes Oquendo a world title shot for the last 3 years, which is how long it’s been since he last fought. Believe it or not, Oquendo’s last fight came 3 ½ years ago in July 2014 in losing to Ruslan Chagaev by a 12 round majority decision in a failed attempt to win the vacant WBA World heavyweight title.
The winner of the Charr vs. Oquendo fight could be facing WBA Super World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in 2019. The WBA will order the Charr-Oquendo winner to fight Joshua at some point. With the way things are setup, the winner of the Charr vs. Oquendo fight will have more incentive to stay inactive until the WBA orders the fight against Joshua. It’s too risky for the Charr-Oquendo winner to defend the WBA title against one of the contenders, because they might lose and miss out on the huge money fight against Joshua.
It’s unclear where Ustinov goes. He’s getting up there in age at 40, and he did not look good tonight. Charr looked worse, but he’s still 33 and now he’s the WBA heavyweight champion.