After more than a year of absolute chaos surrounding it, the WBA "regular" heavyweight title has a new owner in Manuel Charr.
Charr defeated Alexander Ustinov via unanimous decision (115-111, 116-111, 115-112) in Germany to claim the vacant belt.
But even with the title no longer vacant, there had been some confusion over what would be at stake in the fight. Originally, Charr and Ustinov, the two-highest ranked available contenders in the WBA heavyweight rankings at the time, were set to fight in a WBA "regular" heavyweight title eliminator, not a title match. The winner of that fight was planned to fight Fres Oquendo, who had been owed a WBA world heavyweight title match thanks to a U.S. federal court from a few years back.
Oquendo was supposed to fight Shannon Briggs for the title earlier this year, but Briggs failed a drug test and was handed a six-month suspension by the organization, leaving Oquendo without an opponent. Now that Charr is the new champion, the next fight for Charr will most likely be Oquendo.
Charr had some strong rounds against Ustinov, landing several hard shots that hurt Ustinov and even had him in the ropes. At one point, Charr landed a left hand punch that had blood coming below his left eye. With the win, Charr is now 31-4 as a pro boxer while Ustinov suffered his second career defeat.
The WBA "super" heavyweight champion is Anthony Joshua, but with a potentially busy 2018 filled with major fights, Joshua vs. the WBA "regular" heavyweight champion won't likely happen for some time as the governing body is trying to cut down on WBA world titles per weight class to just one.