According to Bobby Hitz, the President of Hitz Boxing, he is in talks to possibly bring the first WBA Heavyweight Championship fight in over 35 years to Chicago.
“Yes, I can confirm that my co-promoter, Roy Jones, Jr.’s Square Ring Promotions, and I have spoken to Kubrat Pulev’s promoter, Sauerland Event in Germany, about promoting [Fres] Oquendo and Pulev for the WBA Heavyweight Championship here in Chicago sometime early next year,” Hitz said.
“There are large Puerto Rican and Bulgarian populations in Chicago, and it just makes sense to do the fight here. The last WBA heavyweight title fight that took place in Chicago was Mike Weaver vs. James “Quick” Tillis in 1981 and ever since the possibility of this fight was first leaked on a Bulgarian news site, I’ve been getting calls off the hook.
“I think it would be great to do this fight in the same building, the Allstate Arena, that hosted Weaver vs. Tillis and I am hopeful that we may be able to put this together.”
Oquendo fought Ruslan Chagaev in a controversial match for the WBA heavyweight title in Chechnya and afterwards sued in U.S. Federal court after his promised rematch was reneged on. Oquendo won the lawsuit which gave him the right to fight for the title next.
When Chagaev retired, the WBA ordered Oquendo to fight Briggs. That bout was scheduled for June 3 in Miami but was cancelled after Briggs tested positive for anabolic steroids and the WBA suspended Briggs.
“I received a call from Chris Meyer at Sauerland, Pulev’s promoter, that Pulev is interested in fighting Oquendo after he recovers from the injury which derailed his fight with Joshua,” said John Wirt, CEO of Square Ring Promotions.
“Chris told me that Pulev will be fully recovered in a few weeks and that we could do the fight either in the U.S. or Bulgaria early next year. We’d like to do it here and our team is headed to Columbia this weekend for the annual WBA Convention.
“While there is a WBA resolution directly on point mandating that Oquendo fight Ustinov if Briggs fell out as an opponent, Ustinov announced that he is fighting Manuel Charr and under the WBA rules, he is not available.
“The next guy in line in the rankings is Pulev, and we are planning on lobbying the WBA to order that fight.”