By Johnny Walker
Russian heavyweight and former world champion Ruslan Chagaev has split from financially troubled Universum Box-Promotion.
Chagaev, 33, cites the infrequency of his fights as a major reason for leaving the promoters, who are currently without a television deal in Germany.
“I need to move forward, and Universum cannot keep me fighting regularly,” says the former WBA world heavyweight champion.
“Time is running out … this infrequency of fights does not suit me, I do not want to stagnate. After a conversation with [Universum boss] Waldemar Klyuhom, we came to a mutual decision to terminate the contract, so now I am a free agent. ”
Chagaev says he intends to manage himself from now on for “greater flexibility” in finding opponents. He says he parted on friendly terms with Universum, and is still open to fighting on a Universum card “if they make an interesting proposal.”
As for the immediate future, Chagaev says he will appear on the undercard of the Felix Sturm vs Daniel Geale fight, to be held September 1 in Germany. His opponent is yet to be named.
“I want to take every opportunity to box, so without hesitation I agreed to participate on the Sturm card,” says Chagaev.
“I hope this fight will begin a new phase of my sporting career: I want to get into regular battle mode and then go on to fight more serious opponents.”
Chagaev says he will now train in both Germany and the United States, “where I still have old contacts with the American boxers and coaches, as well as new.”