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Manuel Charr vs. Fres Oquendo purse bid on Feb. 9th

Fres Oquendo Manuel Charr

By Allan Fox: WBA has a purse bid scheduled for the title fight between WBA World heavyweight champion Manuel Charr (31-4, 17 KOs) and #2 WBA Fres Oquendo (37-8, 24 KOs) for February 9th. Oquendo, 44, hasn’t fought since losing to Ruslan Chagaev by a 12 round majority decision on July 6, 2014.

The World Boxing Association has determined that Oquendo is due a title shot. He’s been injured with a shoulder problem, and he’s been waiting for quite some time for the crack at a belt. Now it looks like Oquendo is finally poised to get his shot. Just how much Oquendo has left of his physical boxing skills is anyone’s guess.

Being out of the ring or almost 4 years likely will negatively impact Oquendo’s skill-set. Up until 2014, Oquendo had been an active heavyweight since starting his career in 1997.

Charr, 33, won the vacant WBA World heavyweight title last November in defeating the 41-year-old Alexander Ustinov by a 12 round unanimous decision in Germany. Ustinov ran out of gas in the second half of the fight and wound up getting knocked down in the 8th and outworked in the last part of the fight. Charr won by the scores 115-111, 116-111 and 115-112.

Charr was viewed as an undeserving fighter to be competing for the vacant WBA heavyweight title in the eyes of a lot of the boxing fans, as he had suffered 3 defeats since 2014 in losses to Mairis Briedis, Johann Duhaupas and Alexander Povetkin. The World Boxing Association seemingly had Charr ranked high based on his wins little known fighters Sefer Seferi and Andri Manzanik. It’s hard to understand what the WBA saw in those wins to rank Charr in the top 5 with their organization. Even German boxing news sites and fans do not have a clue why Charr was ranked so high. It’s a good thing for Charr though, because he’s now in the position where he could potentially get a fight against Anthony Joshua sooner or later if he can hold onto his WBA title for a year or two. Beating Oquendo is probably a very doable thing for Charr, but it’s going to be a lot tougher if he must fight one of the WBA top contenders like Jarrell Miller, Dillian Whyte or Kubrat Pulev.

In other boxing news, WBA World super featherweight champion Alberto Machado (19-0, 16 KOs) has a purse bid scheduled on February 19th for his title defense against unbeaten #2 WBA Rafael Mensah (31-0, 23 KOs). Machado, 27, recently won the vacant WBA World 130 lb. title with an upside 8th round knockout win over Jezreel Corrales on October 21 last year in Verona, New York. Corrales fought well in the first half of the fight in knocking Machado down in the 5th. However, Machado came on strong to take over the fight and score a stoppage win over the 26-year-old Corrales. It was a good fight. Corrales weighed in 3 pounds over the super featherweight limit at the weigh-in the day before the fight.

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