By: Ken Hissner
After watching the Anthony Joshua and Joe Parker unification title fight did you see who is getting a WBA title shot on September 29th in Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany?
The former two-time world title challenger has held minor titles such as USBA, NABF, WBA, WBC & WBO Latino belts. The 45 year-old Fres “The Big O” Oquendo, 37-8 (24), of Chicao, IL, hasn’t fought since July 6th of 2014 which is some 50 months. He is ranked No. 2 and will be fighting champion Manuel Charr, 31-4 (17), born in Lebanon who fights out of Germany who defeated Alexander “The Great” Ustinov, 34-1, for the vacant title in Germany on November 25th of 2017 and hasn’t fought since. It will be ten months since winning the title when he defends against Oquendo.
In Oquendo’s last bout he lost a majority decision to Ruslan Chagaev, 32-1-1, in Grozny, Russia. In Chagaev’s second defense he lost to Lucas Browne of Australia who gave the title up without a defense. Oquendo had won his first twenty-two fights including winning the NABF title. He defended it against David Tua and was stopped in the 9th round.
Russian Alexander “Russian Vityaz” Povetkin, 34-1 (24), back on May 30, 2014, knocked out Charr and is his No. 1 contender and being by-passed as usual. He holds the WBA Inter-Continental and the WBO International titles. The former 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist was in line to fight WBC champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder but failed a drug test. He then took two more, passing and failing again.
To give you an idea how the WBA ranks their heavyweights BJ Flores, 34-3-1, who was a cruiserweight up until 2017 when he defeated Jeremy Bates, 26-18-1, in February and in his last fight in June of 2017 in a scheduled six rounder defeated Nick Guivas, 13-6-2. Those two wins earned him the No. 6 spot in the WBA rankings?
This isn’t just with the WBA but with other organizations that keep certain boxers in the rankings after over a year of inactivity. But to keep Oquendo ranked after 50 months of inactivity and having lost his last fight you have to wonder what the other contenders are thinking.