By: Oliver McManus
The heavyweight fight the world has been waiting on is finally set to take place on Saturday night at a small gym in Cologne, Germany. Mahmoud Charr, former WBA Regular champion, faces Christopher Lovejoy over a scheduled twelve rounds.
Skepticism around the fate of this fight has been widespread with Don King threatening to intervene with legal letters in a bid to prevent the contest from happening. King’s involvement with Lovejoy has been well publicised with the American famously interrupting Lovejoy’s proposed contest with Dave Allen.
Furthermore, Don King moved to get Charr stripped of his ‘Regular’ title so that he could stage Trevor Bryan vs Bermane Stiverne for the belt on January 29th. Charr is now ‘champion in recess’ but remains steadfast on fighting Anthony Joshua for the WBA’s ‘Super’ belt: however fanciful that dream may well be.
If, and it remains a BIG if, this contest takes place tomorrow night, it will be the first chance to really gauge what level of ability Lovejoy possesses. He’s yet to face anyone of note in 19 professional contests: four debutants, four opponents without a win and just the one fighter with a winning record.
And that winning record, by the way, a gentleman called Jorge Alfredo Leal who made his debut when Lovejoy was just 14 years old. Leal racked up 13 wins in seven years to become Mexico’s Pacific Coast light-heavyweight champion before disappearing for seven years. Upon his return, in 2009, he secured three more wins – winning and losing the California State heavyweight title – before, again, disappearing for a further six years. He was then soundly knocked out within a round by Lovejoy.
Lovejoy’s record, or perhaps lack thereof, isn’t through a lack of trying. Over the past two years, the 37-year-old has, at various points, been scheduled to face Nathan Gorman, Dave Allen, Trevor Bryan and Bermane Stiverne: none have materialized.
The reality of this bout is that Manuel Charr, despite being out of the ring for three and a half years, should have more than enough left in the tank to topple this American challenger. It seems the biggest mystery in all of this is just whether the fight actually goes ahead.
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