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WBA orders Manuel Charr and Fres Oquendo to start negotiations

By Tim Royner: Manuel Charr won’t have a lot of time to savor his win over Alexander Ustinov from last Saturday night, because the World Boxing Association has ordered Charr and 44-year-old Fres Oquendo to begin negotiations for a fight, according to Fight News.

Charr and Oquendo have until December 22 to negotiate the fight. If an agreement isn’t reached by that point, then a purse bid will be ordered.

If Oquendo still has most of his boxing skills intact, he could beat Charr. Oquendo used to be a mobile fighter with an excellent jab and respectable power.

Charr (31-4 17 KOs) won the vacant WBA World heavyweight title last Saturday night in beating Alexander Ustinov (34-2, 25 KOs0 by a 12 round unanimous decision in Oberhausen, Germany.

Charr would like to use his WBA title to take on one of the big money fighters like Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury. Those fights can happen, but Charr will need to defeat Oquendo first.

Oquendo is allowed a title shot after being given an order by a New York court. Oquendo has been waiting for a title shot for a while, and he finally has the chance to fight for the belt.

Oquendo will be turning 45-years-old in April of next year. It’s unclear what Oquendo has left in the tank after being inactive from boxing since July 6, 2014. That was when Oquendo lost to Ruslan Chagaev by a 12 round majority decision at the Akmat Arena in Grozny, Russia. It was a close fight with Chagaev winning by the scores 115-113, 115-113 for Chagaev, and 114-114. Oquendo has had injury problems for a while. Oquendo has been a pro since 1997.

For boxing fans that are old enough to remember Oquendo in the early period of his career, he was impressive in beating Bert Cooper, Phile Jackson, Clifford Etienne, Obed Sullivan, David Izon and George Arias. Oquendo was beating a prime David Tua until getting caught and stopped in the 9th round in their fight in 2002. Oquendo would later lose to Chris Byrd and John Ruiz in back to back world title shots in 2003 and 2004. Oquendo looked like he had a very good chance of beating both of those guys, but somehow they were able to do just enough to defeat him by decisions. Oquendo would lose to Evander Holyfield by a 12 round decision in 2006. That was a surprise for Oquendo, because Holyfield was way past his prime by that point in his career. Oquendo would later lose to James Toney in 2008, and Jean Marc Mormeck and Oliver McCall in 2010.

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