Mahmoud Charr is yet to make a single defence of his WBA heavyweight title during a three-year reign, but the forgotten champion is set to finally receive a fight.
Charr’s WBA ‘regular’ belt has been barely acknowledged in the hierarchy of the heavyweight division, which is ruled by the British duo of Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, who are set to meet in a massive unification fight.
Joshua holds the recognised version of the WBA belt, which he originally claimed in an epic battle with Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017, while seven months later Charr secured his own WBA strap with a workmanlike points win over Russian veteran Alexander Ustinov.
At the age of 36, Charr could have been denied the most profitable part of his career by an exile partly caused by promotional wrangles, along with a suspension for an adverse VADA drug test, which was later lifted by the WBA.
But now the WBA’s other champion must fight in a few weeks, or hand back his belt.
The governing body has grown impatient, having ordered a fight between Charr and Trevor Bryan, the WBA interim champion, which has failed to materialise and both men must share the ring by the end of January.
The WBA have stated: “The heavyweight title fight between champion Mahmoud Charr and the mandatory challenger Trevor Bryan will have to be held by January 29, 2021, according to a statement issued by the World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee, and signed by Carlos Chávez.”
Charr had hoped his career could be revived by new promoter Erol Ceylan, with even fleeting talk of an Andy Ruiz Jr fight last year, but promotional veteran Don King, at nearly 90-years-old, has refused to budge in his pursuit of Bryan’s title shot.
“Don King won the purse bid at the time, it is up to him to organise the fight and to communicate the framework to all parties in a timely manner,” Ceylan told Sky Sports in a statement last month.
With the fight deadline edging closer, there has not been any mention of a date or venue, although Charr’s opponent has suggested that he is readying himself for his first fight in over two years.
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“It won’t be long now people it won’t be long now,” Bryan wrote on Instagram.
The winner of the Charr-Bryan fight could potentially be installed as a future challenger for Joshua, who defended his WBA, IBF and WBO belts with a ninth-round knockout of Kubrat Pulev in December.
“I want the best heavyweight on the planet, which is Joshua right now,” Charr had told Sky Sports last year.
Joshua is unlikely to share the ring with him any time soon, but at least Charr can remind the sport of his status as a world heavyweight champion.
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