Ruslan Chagaev

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Ruslan Chagaev
Руслан Чагаев
RuslanChagaev.jpg
Chagaev in 2007
Statistics
Real name Ruslan Shamilevich Chagaev
Nickname(s) White Tyson
Weight(s) Heavyweight
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Reach 188 cm (74 in)
Nationality Uzbekistani
Born (1978-10-19) 19 October 1978 (age 39)
Andijan, Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union (now Uzbekistan)
Stance Southpaw
Boxing record
Total fights 38
Wins 34
Wins by KO 21
Losses 3
Draws 1

Ruslan Shamilevich Chagaev (Tatar: Руслан Шамил улы Чагаев, Ruslan Şamil ulı Çağayev; Uzbek: Ruslan Shamil'evich Chagaev; Russian: Руслан Шамилович Чагаев); born 19 October 1978) is an Uzbekistani former professional boxer who competed from 1997 to 2016. He is a two-time WBA heavyweight champion, having held the full world title from 2007 to 2009, and the Regular title from 2014 to 2016. To date, Chagaev remains the only Asian boxer in the history of the sport to hold a heavyweight world title by any of the four major sanctioning bodies.

In 2007 he defeated then-unbeaten Nikolai Valuev to win the WBA heavyweight title for the first time, and would make two successful defences. Due to injuries and being unable to grant Valuev a rematch in 2009, the WBA stripped Chagaev of the title. He went on to suffer his first professional loss in the same year to unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.

Chagaev won the WBA (Regular) heavyweight title for a second time by defeating Fres Oquendo in 2014. He made one successful defence, but lost the title to Lucas Browne in 2016. However, after Browne failed a drug test, the WBA reinstated Chagaev as champion, but he was once again stripped of the title in July after failing to pay sanctioning fees. On 28 July 2016 he announced his retirement from boxing due to ongoing eye injuries.[1]

As an amateur, Chagaev won gold medals at the 2001 World Championships and 1999 Asian Championships, in the heavyweight and super-heavyweight divisions respectively.

Professional career[edit]

1997–2005: Early career[edit]

Ruslan Chagaev (center) inside the ring with his coach Michael Timm (right) challenging Rob Calloway (left). 7 January 2006).

Having fought twice in 1997, Chagaev returned to amateur boxing. He turned pro fully in 2001, with the only flaw on his early record coming 5 October 2002 bout against Rob Calloway in Detroit, Michigan, United States. At the end of third round, the fight was stopped due to Calloway having a wound caused by a headbutt. Michigan boxing rule mandated that the fight be called a Technical Draw (TD) since the bout ended by an accidental foul. Usually four rounds are needed to go to the score cards for decision.

Chagaev slowly but steadily climbed up the heavyweight ranks, first avenging the no-contest with a brutal second round knockout of Calloway.[2]

2006: Title contender[edit]

In 2006 he beat undefeated Ukrainian prospect Vladimir Virchis in a close and intense punchfest, and slowly took apart prominent British boxer Michael Sprott.

On 18 November 2006, he fought the former WBA champion John Ruiz, and prevailed in a close contest. He took a split decision with scores of 117–111 and 116–112 for Chagaev, and 115–114 for Ruiz. Chagaev became the mandatory challenger for a shot at Nikolai Valuev, the WBA heavyweight champion at the time. Valuev was sa ringside and believed Chagaev was the rightful winner.[3]

2007–2009: WBA heavyweight champion[edit]

Chagaev vs. Valuev[edit]

The fight between Chagaev and WBA titlist Valuev took place on 14 April 2007 at the Porsche-Arena in Stuttgart, Germany. Chagaev won the fight and WBA title via a majority decision (117–111, 115–113 and 114–114). Many ringside had the fight close and some calling it controversial.[4]

On 26 June 2007, it was announced that Chagaev would partake in a heavyweight unification bout with WBO heavyweight champion Sultan Ibragimov. The fight was due to take place in Moscow on 13 October 2007 and would have been the first heavyweight unification bout since 1999;[5] however, Chagaev had to drop out of the fight after contracting hepatitis B.[6] At that point, it was not clear whether he would have been able to compete at all, with WBA considering a championship tournament for Chagaev's crown.[7] After Ibragimov defended his crown against Evander Holyfield, however, it was announced that Chagaev was able to recover.

Chagaev vs. Skelton[edit]

Chagaev made his first official defence against Commonwealth heavyweight champion Matt Skelton (21-1, 18KOs) on 19 January 2008 at the Burg-Waechter Castello in Dusseldorf. Skelton's promoter Frank Warren initially wanted the fight to take place in February or March, but Chagaev insisted an earlier date. In regards to fighting Skelton, Chagaev said, "I am completely healthy and I am ready to fight, I want to get in the ring. It will be a hard fight against a good puncher."[8] Chagaev retained his WBA title via unanimous decision. The judges scored the fight 117-110, 117-111 and 117-111 in Chagaev's favour. Skelton started the fight well, winning the early rounds, but as the fight progressed, Chagaev took control landing his left hand. Skelton was deducted a point in round eight because of repeated holding and hitting[9][10]

His next mandatory defense was to be a rematch on 5 July 2008 with Nikolai Valuev, who defeated former WBO champion Sergei Liakhovich by unanimous decision to earn the right. However, the fight had to be cancelled after Chagaev suffered a complete tear of an Achilles tendon during his final sparring session in preparation for the defense, causing Chagaev's second postponement of the match. The WBA elected to make Chagaev "Champion in Recess" due to the injury that Chagaev sustained and necessary recovery time and mandated that top-contenders Valuev and John Ruiz meet for the vacated title. By beating Ruiz, Valuev also became champion on 30 August 2008.[11]

Chagaev vs. Drumond[edit]

Chagaev returned from injury on 7 February 2009 to fight the then-unbeaten Costa Rican Carl Davis Drumond. For the fight, Chagaev was not listed as WBA champion, but rather the "Champion in Recess". The fight took place at the StadtHalle in Rostock. The fight ended after round 6, with Chagaev winning the fight via controversial technical decision. Chagaev sustained a cut from an unintentional clash of heads. Chagaev was taken to hospital after the fight for treatment. Judge Jean-Louis Legland had Chagaev ahead 60-54, whilst judges Hector Afu and Paul Thomas had Chagaev ahead 58-56.[12]

Chagaev and Valuev were supposed to fight no later than 26 June 2009 to determine who the WBA regarded as their champion.[13] They were scheduled to fight on 30 May 2009 in Helsinki, Finland at the Hartwall Arena, but Chagaev failed a Finnish medical test, allegedly due to hepatitis. On 24 July 2009, when the WBA published their Official Ratings as of June 2009, Chagaev was no longer the "Champion in Recess" but the No. 1 challenger instead.

Chagaev vs. Klitschko[edit]

Wladimir Klitschko (52-3, 46 KOs) was scheduled to face David Haye, who pulled out within weeks of the fight complaining of a back injury. Salvaging 20 June 2009 date and venue, Klitschko instead retained the IBF, WBO and IBO Heavyweight titles and also won the vacant Ring magazine heavyweight title by defeating replacement opponent and Ring No. 3 ranked Chagaev when Chagaev retired after an onslaught of punches towards the end of the ninth round. There was a total of 61,000 fans in attendance at the Veltins Arena. As Chagaev was WBA Champion, the title was not on the line. Klitschko's win over Chagaev was seen as one of his most impressive performances in the ring. He controlled the tempo of the fight from the very beginning and hit Chagaev at will with the jab. He hit Chagaev with several hard right crosses and never allowed him to build momentum. Towards the end of the second round Klitschko caught Chagaev off-balance and sent him to the canvas. Chagaev recovered but was dominated thereafter. This win had added significance because even though the WBA title was not on the line, many saw Klitschko as the rightful champion.[14][15][16]

2010–11: Regaining composure[edit]

Chagaev fought Kali Meehan (35–3, 29 KO) on 22 May 2010, in a WBA heavyweight title eliminator at the Stadthalle in Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.[17] Chagaev won the bout by unanimous decision with the scores of 117–111, 117–112 and 118–110.[18][19] Six months later in a stay busy fight, he edged Travis Walker on points in an eight round fight which turned into a slugfest.[20][21]

Chagaev vs. Povetkin[edit]

After Wladimir Klitschko unified his WBO and IBF titles with David Haye's WBA title, Klitschko was upgraded to "Super Champion" by the WBA, thus making the "Regular Champion" title vacant.[22] On 6 July 2011 negotiations for Chagaev to fight undefeated Alexander Povetkin (22-0, 15 KOs) for the vacant title began between Sauerland, who promote Povetkin, and Chagaev's promoter Universum.[23] Two days later, Povetkin's trainer confirmed the fight would take place on 27 August.[24] With Atlas in his corner, Povetkin bested Chagaev by unanimous decision to capture the WBA (Regular) heavyweight title at the Messehalle arena in Erfurt, Germany. Povetkin withstood a middle-round challenge from Chagaev, but worked his foe into submission in the later rounds of the bout. He walked away victorious thanks to 117–113, 117–113 and 116–112 scorecards.[25][26]

2012–16: Recapturing WBA title[edit]

After the Povetkin bout, Chagaev went 5-0 (3 KO), defeating world ranked Jovo Pudar & four journeymen with respectable records.[27]

On 15 June 2013, at a press conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, European heavyweight champion Kubrat Pulev (17-0, 9 KOs) stated his plans to fight Chagaev next although details had not been discussed.[28] Towards the end of the month, Chagaev spoke out denying any rumours that he was interested in a fight with Pulev. He instead stated that he was closing in on a deal to fight undefeated Cuban Luis Otiz (19-0, 16 KOs) in the fall of 2013.[29]

Chagaev vs. Oquendo[edit]

In May 2014, talks began for a fight between Chagaev and former world title challenger Fres Oquendo (37-7, 24 KOs) for the vacant WBA "regular" heavyweight title in June. Oquendo climbed the WBA rankings further after stopping Galen Brown (41-27-1, 24 KOs) in two rounds earlier in the month.[30] Oquendo pulled out in July due to passport issues and was on the verge of being replaced by German boxer Alexander Petkovic (49-4-4, 27 KOs), however Oquendo managed to board a plane, confirming the bout was still on.[31] The fight took place on 6 July at the Ahmat Arena in Grozny. Chagaev claimed the vacant title via majority decision after 12 rounds in a tough battle. Judge Guillermo Perez Pineda scored the fight 114-114, whilst judges Gustavo Jarquin and Alexis Marin both scored it 115-113 in favour of Chagaev, giving him the win. Chagaev controlled most of the fight with his constant jab and later in the fight started connecting with body shots.[32][33] A few days after the fight, the WBA ordered Chagaev vs. Ortiz. Both camps had 30 days to negotiate a deal.[34]

In November 2014, Oquendo spoke out about not receiving his guaranteed purse of $1 million and an immediate rematch within 120 days if he lost. His promoters Hitz Boxing and Square Ring Promotions, who were guaranteed an additional $100,000 were also reportedly not paid. Bobby Hitz of Hitz Boxing stated that they would file a lawsuit.[35] In the same month, RUSADA released information from a mandatory drug test that was taken after the fight which stated that Oquendo had tested positive for tamoxifin and anastrozole. According to the fight contract, this meant Oquendo would need to pay back his purse.[36] In December, a $5 million lawsuit was filed by Oquendo against promoter Terek Box Event seeking damages caused by the agreement to the Federal Court in Manhattan. In a statement, Oquendo said, “I am really looking forward to my day in court and finally getting justice. These guys pulled a really slick move and tricked me into fighting on July 6 by promising me to increase my purse to $1 million and giving me a rematch at a time when I wasn't mentally right, with my wife and newborn baby being sick and in the hospital. Well, now they are the ones behind the eight ball. They’ve got until January 2 to respond to the lawsuit.”[37] In April 2015, the judges issued an injuction.[38]

Chagaev vs. Pianeta[edit]

In May 2015, it was announced that Chagaev would make his first title defense against long time contender WBA #13 Francesco Pianeta (31-1, 17 KOs) on 11 July at the GETEC Arena in Magdeburg, Germany. Pianeta's only loss came in 2013 to Wladimir Klitschko via stoppage.[39][40] World of Boxing president Andrey Ryabinsky helped settle the issue between Chagaev and Oquendo. With the legal battle finished, it was said that Oquendo would fight the winner of Chagaev vs. Pianeta.[41] Chagaev won the fight via 1st round TKO. Pianeta was dropped with two lefts but beat the 10 count. He was then dropped again following two more lefts. Referee Jean-Louis Legland stopped the fight 3 seconds before the round was due to end.[42][43][44][45]

Chagaev and Oquendo were scheduled to have their rematch on 17 October at the Sparkassen Arena in Kiel, Germany. On 6 October, Oquendo pulled out of the fight citing illness.[46]

Chagaev vs. Browne[edit]

On 14 November 2015, the WBA ordered Chagaev to reach a deal to make a defence of his WBA title against Australian heavyweight contender Lucas Browne. The two sides had until 30 November to reach a deal.[47] Chagaev's promoter Timur Dugazaev announced the fight would likely take place in Grozny in March 2016.[48] In the January 2016, the fight was officially announced to take place on 5 March.[49] Browne made history by becoming the first Australian to win a version of the world heavyweight championship, by stopping Chagaev in ten rounds to become WBA (Regular) heavyweight champion in Russia. Browne landed nearly 20 unanswered punches, mostly right hands, before referee Stanley Christodoulou stopped the fight at 2 minutes, 27 seconds. Browne was knocked down in the sixth round and at the time of the knockout, behind on all judges scorecards (81-88, 82-88 twice).[50][51]

It was reported on March 22 that Browne failed his post-fight drug test and was then stripped of the belt and will likely have the result changed to a no-decision.[52][53]

On July 28, it was reported that Chagaev had been stripped of his WBA 'Regular' title for failure to pay outstanding sanctioning fees. According to WBA, Chagaev and promoter Timur Dugazaev have repeatedly failed to pay $40,750 in sanctioning fees related to Chagaev's majority decision victory against Fres Oquendo. The WBA said it sought payment multiple times and had no choice but to vacate the title when there was no response.[54]

Retirement[edit]

It was announced on 28 July 2016 by manager Timur Dugashev that Chagaev announced his retirement from boxing at the age of 37 due to problems with his eyes. Dugashev stated: "Ruslan informed us that he would no longer fight. The reason is the state of his eyes. Health is the most important thing."[55]

There was reports in October 2016 that Chagaev was offered a farewell fight to close his career, potentially a rematch with Lucas Browne. Chagaev chose to stay retired due to health issues.[56]

Personal life[edit]

Chagaev is of Volga Tatar ethnicity and an adherent of Islam.[57][58] His parents, Shamil and Zamira Chagaev, are Mishar Tatars from the village of Kalda[57] (located in today's Baryshsky District of Ulyanovsk Oblast, Russia), who moved to the Uzbek SSR in the 1950s.[57] Chagaev has a sister, Luiza.[57] He is married to Viktoria, an ethnic Armenian,[59] who is also from Andijan. They have two children together. Their first son, Artur, was born on 24 March 2004. Ruslan resides in Hamburg, Germany with his family.

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
38 fights 34 wins 3 losses
By knockout 21 2
By decision 13 1
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
38 Loss 34–3–1 Australia Lucas Browne TKO 10 (12), 2:02 5 Mar 2016 Russia Colosseum Sport Hall, Grozny, Russia Lost WBA (Regular) heavyweight title;
Chagaev later reinstated as champion after Browne failed a drug test
37 Win 34–2–1 Italy Francesco Pianeta TKO 1 (12), 2:57 11 Jul 2015 Germany GETEC Arena, Magdeburg, Germany Retained WBA (Regular) heavyweight title
36 Win 33–2–1 United States Fres Oquendo MD 12 6 Jul 2014 Russia Akhmat-Arena, Grozny, Russia Won vacant WBA (Regular) heavyweight title
35 Win 32–2–1 Serbia Jovo Pudar UD 12 5 Oct 2013 Russia Olympic Stadium, Moscow, Russia Won vacant WBA Continental and PABA heavyweight titles
34 Win 31–2–1 United States Mike Sheppard KO 1 (10), 1:40 22 Mar 2013 Germany Universal Hall, Berlin, Germany
33 Win 30–2–1 Germany Werner Kreiskott TKO 7 (8), 0:14 1 Sep 2012 Germany König Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Germany
32 Win 29–2–1 United States Billy Zumbrun TKO 3 (8), 1:26 21 Apr 2012 Germany Sport- und Kongresshalle, Schwerin, Germany
31 Win 28–2–1 Trinidad and Tobago Kertson Manswell UD 8 28 Jan 2012 Germany Grand Elysée Rotherbaum, Hamburg, Germany
30 Loss 27–2–1 Russia Alexander Povetkin UD 12 27 Aug 2011 Germany Messe, Erfurt, Germany For vacant WBA (Regular) heavyweight title
29 Win 27–1–1 United States Travis Walker UD 8 19 Nov 2010 Germany Universum Gym, Hamburg, Germany
28 Win 26–1–1 Australia Kali Meehan UD 12 22 May 2010 Germany StadtHalle, Rostock, Germany
27 Loss 25–1–1 Ukraine Wladimir Klitschko RTD 9 (12), 3:00 20 Jun 2009 Germany Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany For IBF, WBO, IBO, vacant The Ring and lineal heavyweight titles
26 Win 25–0–1 Costa Rica Carl Davis Drumond TD 6 (12), 3:00 7 Feb 2009 Germany StadtHalle, Rostock, Germany Retained WBA heavyweight title;
Unanimous TD after Chagaev was cut from an accidental head clash
25 Win 24–0–1 United Kingdom Matt Skelton UD 12 19 Jan 2008 Germany Burg-Wächter Castello, Düsseldorf, Germany Retained WBA heavyweight title
24 Win 23–0–1 Russia Nikolai Valuev MD 12 14 Apr 2007 Germany Porsche-Arena, Stuttgart, Germany Won WBA heavyweight title
23 Win 22–0–1 United States John Ruiz SD 12 18 Nov 2006 Germany Burg-Wächter Castello, Düsseldorf, Germany
22 Win 21–0–1 United Kingdom Michael Sprott TKO 8 (12), 2:54 15 Jul 2006 Germany Color Line Arena, Hamburg, Germany Retained WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title;
Won WBO Asia-Pacific heavyweight title
21 Win 20–0–1 Ukraine Vladimir Virchis MD 12 11 Mar 2006 Germany Color Line Arena, Hamburg, Germany Won WBA and WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight titles
20 Win 19–0–1 United States Rob Calloway KO 2 (10), 2:10 7 Jan 2006 Germany Zenith, Munich, Germany
19 Win 18–0–1 United Kingdom Mark Krence KO 5 (8), 1:28 22 Oct 2005 Germany Brandberge Arena, Halle, Germany
18 Win 17–0–1 Brazil Jucimar Francisco Hipolito TKO 1 (8), 0:50 28 Sep 2005 Germany Color Line Arena, Hamburg, Germany
17 Win 16–0–1 The Bahamas Sherman Williams UD 8 26 Mar 2005 Germany Erdgas Arena, Riesa, Germany
16 Win 15–0–1 United States Tommy Connelly TKO 2 (8), 1:51 14 Dec 2004 Germany Freizeit Arena, Sölden, Austria
15 Win 14–0–1 Croatia Asmir Vojnovic TKO 4 (10), 0:45 16 Nov 2004 Germany Kugelbake-Halle, Cuxhaven, Germany
14 Win 13–0–1 United States Willie Williams KO 3 (8), 2:25 26 Oct 2004 Germany Scandlines Arena, Rostock, Germany
13 Win 12–0–1 United States Garing Lane KO 5 (8), 1:46 31 Jul 2004 Germany Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, Stuttgart, Germany
12 Win 11–0–1 United States Sedreck Fields KO 2 (8), 2:45 22 Jun 2004 Austria Sportzentrum, Telfs, Austria
11 Win 10–0–1 United States Wade Lewis TKO 1 (6), 2:33 18 May 2004 Germany Hansehalle, Lübeck, Germany
10 Win 9–0–1 Russia Alexey Varakin KO 2 (6) 30 Mar 2004 Germany Saaltheater Geulen, Aachen, Germany
9 Win 8–0–1 United States Sedreck Fields UD 6 17 Feb 2004 Germany Hansehalle, Lübeck, Germany
8 Win 7–0–1 Brazil Daniel Frank KO 2 (6), 0:54 8 Nov 2003 Germany Universum Gym, Hamburg, Germany
7 Win 6–0–1 United States Zakeem Graham TKO 3 (10), 2:26 22 May 2003 United States Raceway, Yonkers, New York, US
6 Draw 5–0–1 United States Rob Calloway TD 3 (10), 2:41 5 Oct 2002 United States Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan, US TD after Calloway was cut from an accidental head clash
5 Win 5–0 United States Chris Isaac UD 8 11 May 2002 United States Grand Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi, US
4 Win 4–0 United States Val Smith KO 1 (4), 2:26 14 Jan 2002 United States The Joint, Paradise, Nevada, US
3 Win 3–0 United States Everett Martin TKO 4 (4) 21 Sep 2001 Uzbekistan Sport Palace Yunusabad, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
2 Win 2–0 United States Brian Jones KO 2 (4), 1:10 3 Sep 1997 United States Ramada Inn, Rosemont, Illinois, US
1 Win 1–0 United States Donnie Penelton KO 1 (4), 2:30 21 Aug 1997 United States Hollywood Casino, Aurora, Illinois, US

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  57. ^ a b c d "Родная сестра руслана чагаева луиза: «горжусь, что мой брат ни разу в жизни не выкурил ни одной..." 
  58. ^ "Top 10 active Muslim boxers". June 10, 2015. 
  59. ^ "Чемпион мира WBA Руслан Чагаев (Узбекистан): Только после боя я разглядел, какой же Валуев огромный!". Советский Спорт. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Preceded by
Volodymyr Virchis
WBA Inter-Continental
heavyweight champion

11 March 2006 – 15 July 2006
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Taras Bidenko
WBO Inter-Continental
heavyweight champion

11 March 2006 – April 2006
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Alexander Dimitrenko
Vacant
Title last held by
Sultan Ibragimov
WBO Asia Pacific
heavyweight champion

15 July 2006 – March 2007
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Denis Bakhtov
New title WBA Continental
heavyweight champion

5 October 2013 – 6 July 2014
Won world title
Vacant
Title next held by
Otto Wallin
Preceded by
Jovo Pudar
PABA heavyweight champion
5 October 2013 – 5 July 2014
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Joseph Parker
World boxing titles
Preceded by
Nikolai Valuev
WBA heavyweight champion
14 April 2007 – 18 July 2008
Status changed
Vacant
Title next held by
Nikolai Valuev
Vacant
Title last held by
Alexander Povetkin
WBA heavyweight champion
Regular title

6 July 2014 – 5 March 2016
Succeeded by
Lucas Browne
Preceded by
Lucas Browne
Stripped
WBA heavyweight champion
Regular title

13 May 2016 – 25 July 2016
Stripped
Vacant
Title next held by
Manuel Charr
Honorary boxing titles
New title WBA heavyweight champion
In recess

18 July 2008 – 20 June 2009
Stripped
Title discontinued