By Mike Smith: WBA ‘regular’ heavyweight champion Manuel Charr has tested positive for two banned drugs ahead of his September 29 title defense against 45-year-old Fres Oquendo in Cologne, Germany.
Charr, 33, tested positive for epitrenbolone and drostanolone, both of which are anabolic steroids. Char’s fight with Oquendo (37-8, 24 KOs) has now reportedly been canceled, as one would expect. Charr will now likely lose his WBA title and be suspended.
With the positive test by Charr, Oquendo wants to be installed as the new WBA heavyweight champion without having to wait to fight someone else for the title. It would be a posiitive for Oquendo’s career if he is elevated into the position as the new WBA secondary heavyweight champion without having to fight the likes of Trevor Bryan or Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller for the spot. If Oquendo needs to fight for the title, then he might not be any better off than he would if he had challenged Charr for the belt. Due to Oquendo’s age and inactivity, he would have a difficult time beating any of the top contenders in the WBA’s top 15 ranking.
In response to the positive test, Charr says he’s a clean fighter and he will check whether it was food supplements that he was taking that may have caused he positive test results.
The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association are the ones that are doing the testing of the two fighters, and they were the ones that delivered the bitter news to the two fighters’ camps, according to Dan Rafael.
Oquendo hasn’t fought in over four years since his 12 round majority decision loss to Ruslan Chagaev on July 6, 2014. Given Oquendo’s advanced age and his lengthy amount of time outside of the ring, its questionable how well he would have done against Charr. It’s kind of a surprise that Charr would test positive for steroids in a fight that he was expected to in with ease in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans.
”The results of the analysis are as follows: Adverse. Urine specimen number 4256987: epitrenbolone and drostanolone metabolites detected,” A copy of VADA’s letter from ESPN.com.
Charr can have his B-sample of his urine specimen tested. It’s unclear whether Charr will bother with the second test. If it was something that was caused by contamination from having taken a food supplement, then testing the B-sample might not make a difference.
10 months ago, Charr beat 41-year-old Alexander Ustinov by a 12 round unanimous decision on November 25, 2017 to win the World Boxing Association ‘regular’ heavyweight title in Oberhausen, Germany. Charr had a lot of options available to him for interesting fights, but he had to take care of his mandatory title defense against Oquendo before he could get to those fights.
If Charr is stripped of his WBA by the sanctioning body, then it’ll likely be Oquendo fighting for the vacant title against #1 WBA Trevor Bryan. Oquendo might be too ring rusty and too long in the tooth to beat the 29-year-old Bryan. Bryan last fought in August in defeating BJ Flores by a 4th round knockout.
“I have always been clean in all the fighting, and I can therefore definitely not explain how this result. I’m in shock myself, dear fans, especially as I’m in the final (stages) of the fight preparation,” Charr said to ESPN.com.
Oquendo has been dealing with injuries since losing to Chagaev in 2014. During the prime of Oquendo’s career, he was a good contender level heavyweight, who fought for world titles against John Ruiz and Ruslan Chagaev. Unfortunately for Oquendo, he lost both times. Oquendo also has notable defeats at the hands of David Tua, Oliver McCall, Jean Marc Mormeck, James Toney, Evander Holyfield, John Ruiz, and Chris Byrd. Oquendo’s best wins have come against David Izon, Clifford Etienne, Maurice Harris, Javier Mora, Elieser Castillo, Dominique Alexander, Bruce Seldon, Derric Rossy and Robert Hawkins.