Friday, 24 November 2017

Charr meets Ustinov in Oberhausen for vacant WBA title.


In a lightly publicised embarrassment, two of the poorest heavyweights to contest for a portion of a world title, meet tomorrow night in Oberhausen Germany when Alexander Ustinov 34-1 (25 Ko’s) meets Manuel Charr 30-4 (17 Ko’s) for the vacant WBA title. Ustinov a 6 foot 8 inch Belarusian hasn’t boxed a ranked fighter in 5 years, when he last faced an opponent of note, he was beaten badly by future world title challenger Kubrat Pulev back in 2012. Since that defeat, Ustinov has strung together 7 straight victories but has only boxed once since 2015, a quick knockout over Rafael Zumbano in May, and within that time hasn’t boxed anything that I would remotely consider an elimination bout..
Charr in the opposite corner is equally unworthy of his unlikely opportunity. In 2012 with a promising record of 22-0, Charr looked like championship material, before losing a brave WBC title challenge to Vitali Klitschko on cuts. The Lebanese born heavyweight rebounded impressively over the next couple of years, beating Oleksei Mazikin, Dennis Bakhtov, Konstantin Airich and Kevin Johnson before again walking into dangerous territory, being stopped by Alexander Povetkin in 2014.. Since then Manuel has lost to every rated fighter he’s faced, most recently suffering a knockout at the hands of current WBC Cruiserweight Champion Mairis Breidis in 2015, facing only unranked Andrei Mazanik and Sefer Seferi since, to earn a championship challenge.
This is only the latest example in the steady trend of devaluating world titles, hurting the historic lineage of a tradition rich division, surprisingly in this instance, by the oldest of the existing governing bodies..
On paper Charr has the more impressive credentials, facing a far more decorated array of opposition than Ustinov, yet appears to have lost a degree of punch resistance of late.. Ustinov is a huge mountain of a man, with adequate fundamentals and above average power, but portrays the look of a man who’s career has been carefully cultivated in an attempt to steer him to this exact position.. It’s as interesting a fight as it is a historic event, and although the victor will be hoisted aloft as the WBA heavyweight champion, there isn’t a man alive who would be gullible enough to recognise either mans claim as serious.