Exclusive: Oquendo all set to begin training for Chagaev rematch
On the back of the World Boxing Association heavyweight title ruling regarding Lucas Browne, former challenger Fres Oquendo is now set for a rematch with Ruslan Chagaev.
Oquendo, 43, is currently in the right side of the draw for the WBA’s top division tournament and was due to face Browne after the Aussie dethroned former foe Chagaev in Grozny last month.
A positive drugs test for Clenbuterol has meant Browne lost his belt and faces six months out, leaving the WBA offering Chagaev the chance to regain his position as the regular champion.
That means Chagaev will face Oquendo in a long drawn out rematch following their last meeting in 2014 that ended in a majority decision for the Uzbek and eventually in the courtroom.
Oquendo won the right to challenge the winner of Chagaev v Browne, and after initially looking at a trip to Australia, the Puerto Rican is now ready to follow through with whatever the WBA decide, according to manager Tom Tsatas.
‘The Big O’ has gone under the knife in a bid to fully recover from a shoulder ailment and is almost ready to begin training again as he bids to get back into the mix.
“Right now, the extra time has helped Fres recover at a great rate versus rushing him into a fight after his surgery,” Tsatas exclusively told World Boxing News.
“He’s in great shape and we will begin boxing training soon. He is stronger, has been running and already a few pounds from fight weight. So for 43 and a heavyweight we are looking ok.
“As far as the tournament is concerned, as we all know boxing has things that pop up. Bobby and John (promoters) are in communication with Gilberto Mendoza and the WBA, who are on top of things and is doing the right thing.
“We will be ready to fight (Chagaev) and have been patient and up front with this. Fres, I believe, is been around long enough (20 years) and has earned his shot at the title. He is the most experienced heavyweight – other than Wladimir – and has been in that ring with the best fighters of his generation.
“It would have been unbelievable to go right into the winner of the Fury v Klitschko / Ortiz v Ustinov side of the draw if it would have worked out that way and we could be ready for that fight when the time comes.
“Otherwise, we will wait to see what happens. Thus far Gilberto and the WBA have done the right and fair thing so we will keep in shape and play the wait game.
“The WBA has been good to us and we will do the same with them. We want the real heavyweight championship in the end and right now it’s the Fury v Klitschko / Ortiz v Ustinov winner after Chagaev.
“After he becomes victorious, Fres can then walk into the sunset as champion,” he added.