After the stunning cancellation of the fight in Helsinki the World Boxing Association has now clarified that Nikolai Valuev is the official WBA heavyweight champion. That is what is stated in a letter from WBA attorney Michael E. McAleenan to Team Sauerland and all parties involved. Furthermore, after the third cancellation, Chagaev´s status as “champion in recess” is “under review”. “From our point of view the WBA made the only right decision,” Sauerland Event General Manager Chris Meyer said. “Valuev is the official WBA heavyweight champion. This is the third time that Chagaev could not fight Valuev for medical reasons. We expect that the WBA will now deprive Chagaev of his strange status as ‘champion in recess’.”
The WBA letter puts a few things into perspective. Since July 3, 2008, Chagaev, who still calls himself the “true champion”, has been listed as “champion in recess”. To end this status, he was scheduled to fight WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev in Helsinki on May 30. The fight did not occur due to the local boxing commission’s decision that Chagaev was medically unfit to participate in the bout. This was a result of a condition learned from Chagaev´s blood tests.
It spelled the third time that Chagaev did not fight Valuev in a mandatory defence. The Uzbeki had also called off a unification bout with Sultan Ibragimov due to an illness. Ruslan Chagaev´s status as “champion in recess” is currently under review by the WBA.
A decision has also been made whether or not Chagaev and Wladimir Klitschko will also fight for the WBA title. According to the WBA`s attorney, no such request has yet been made. Even if such a request was properly made, “it is unlikely to be granted” due to applicable WBA rules and the given circumstances. “This confirms our view,” Meyer added. “Since Valuev is the official WBA champion, Chagaev and Klitschko cannot fight for his title.”