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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 held the WBA heavyweight title twice, from 2007 to 2009 and from 2014 to 2016, and was the first Asian boxer to win a world heavyweight title by any of the four major sanctioning bodies.

Ruslan Chagaev
Руслан Чагаев
RuslanChagaev.jpg
Chagaev in 2007
Statistics
Real nameRuslan Shamilevich Chagaev
Nickname(s)White Tyson
Weight(s)Heavyweight
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Reach188 cm (74 in)
NationalityUzbekistani
Born (1978-10-19) 19 October 1978 (age 40)
Andijan, Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union (now Uzbekistan)
StanceSouthpaw
Boxing record
Total fights38
Wins34
Wins by KO21
Losses3
Draws1

In 2007, Chagaev defeated then-unbeaten Nikolai Valuev to win his first WBA heavyweight title, 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, then 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.

Contents

Professional careerEdit

1997–2005: Early careerEdit

 
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 contenderEdit

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 sat ringside and believed Chagaev was the rightful winner.[3]

2007–2009: WBA heavyweight championEdit

Chagaev vs. ValuevEdit

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] With the win, Chagaev became the first Asian to win a world heavyweight title.

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. SkeltonEdit

Chagaev made his first official defence against Commonwealth heavyweight champion Matt Skelton (21-1, 18 KOs) 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. DrumondEdit

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. KlitschkoEdit

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 composureEdit

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. PovetkinEdit

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 titleEdit

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. OquendoEdit

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. PianetaEdit

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. BrowneEdit

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]

RetirementEdit

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 lifeEdit

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 three children together: Artur, Alan and Adam. Their first son, Artur, was born on 24 March 2004. Ruslan resides in Hamburg, Germany with his family.

Professional boxing recordEdit

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   Lucas Browne TKO 10 (12), 2:02 5 Mar 2016   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   Francesco Pianeta TKO 1 (12), 2:57 11 Jul 2015   GETEC Arena, Magdeburg, Germany Retained WBA (Regular) heavyweight title
36 Win 33–2–1   Fres Oquendo MD 12 6 Jul 2014   Akhmat-Arena, Grozny, Russia Won vacant WBA (Regular) heavyweight title
35 Win 32–2–1   Jovo Pudar UD 12 5 Oct 2013   Olympic Stadium, Moscow, Russia Won vacant WBA Continental (Europe) and PABA heavyweight titles
34 Win 31–2–1   Mike Sheppard KO 1 (10), 1:40 22 Mar 2013   Universal Hall, Berlin, Germany
33 Win 30–2–1   Werner Kreiskott TKO 7 (8), 0:14 1 Sep 2012   König Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Germany
32 Win 29–2–1   Billy Zumbrun TKO 3 (8), 1:26 21 Apr 2012   Sport- und Kongresshalle, Schwerin, Germany
31 Win 28–2–1   Kertson Manswell UD 8 28 Jan 2012   Grand Elysée Rotherbaum, Hamburg, Germany
30 Loss 27–2–1   Alexander Povetkin UD 12 27 Aug 2011   Messe, Erfurt, Germany For vacant WBA (Regular) heavyweight title
29 Win 27–1–1   Travis Walker UD 8 19 Nov 2010   Universum Gym, Hamburg, Germany
28 Win 26–1–1   Kali Meehan UD 12 22 May 2010   StadtHalle, Rostock, Germany
27 Loss 25–1–1   Wladimir Klitschko RTD 9 (12), 3:00 20 Jun 2009   Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany For IBF, WBO, IBO, vacant The Ring and lineal heavyweight titles
26 Win 25–0–1   Carl Davis Drumond TD 6 (12), 3:00 7 Feb 2009   StadtHalle, Rostock, Germany Retained WBA heavyweight title;
Unanimous TD after Chagaev was cut from an accidental head clash
25 Win 24–0–1   Matt Skelton UD 12 19 Jan 2008   Burg-Wächter Castello, Düsseldorf, Germany Retained WBA heavyweight title
24 Win 23–0–1   Nikolai Valuev MD 12 14 Apr 2007   Porsche-Arena, Stuttgart, Germany Won WBA heavyweight title
23 Win 22–0–1   John Ruiz SD 12 18 Nov 2006   Burg-Wächter Castello, Düsseldorf, Germany
22 Win 21–0–1   Michael Sprott TKO 8 (12), 2:54 15 Jul 2006   Color Line Arena, Hamburg, Germany Retained WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title;
Won WBO Asia-Pacific heavyweight title
21 Win 20–0–1   Vladimir Virchis MD 12 11 Mar 2006   Color Line Arena, Hamburg, Germany Won WBA and WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight titles
20 Win 19–0–1   Rob Calloway KO 2 (10), 2:10 7 Jan 2006   Zenith, Munich, Germany
19 Win 18–0–1   Mark Krence KO 5 (8), 1:28 22 Oct 2005   Brandberge Arena, Halle, Germany
18 Win 17–0–1   Jucimar Francisco Hipolito TKO 1 (8), 0:50 28 Sep 2005   Color Line Arena, Hamburg, Germany
17 Win 16–0–1   Sherman Williams UD 8 26 Mar 2005   Erdgas Arena, Riesa, Germany
16 Win 15–0–1   Tommy Connelly TKO 2 (8), 1:51 14 Dec 2004   Freizeit Arena, Sölden, Austria
15 Win 14–0–1   Asmir Vojnovic TKO 4 (10), 0:45 16 Nov 2004   Kugelbake-Halle, Cuxhaven, Germany
14 Win 13–0–1   Willie Williams KO 3 (8), 2:25 26 Oct 2004   Scandlines Arena, Rostock, Germany
13 Win 12–0–1   Garing Lane KO 5 (8), 1:46 31 Jul 2004   Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, Stuttgart, Germany
12 Win 11–0–1   Sedreck Fields KO 2 (8), 2:45 22 Jun 2004   Sportzentrum, Telfs, Austria
11 Win 10–0–1   Wade Lewis TKO 1 (6), 2:33 18 May 2004   Hansehalle, Lübeck, Germany
10 Win 9–0–1   Alexey Varakin KO 2 (6) 30 Mar 2004   Saaltheater Geulen, Aachen, Germany
9 Win 8–0–1   Sedreck Fields UD 6 17 Feb 2004   Hansehalle, Lübeck, Germany
8 Win 7–0–1   Daniel Frank KO 2 (6), 0:54 8 Nov 2003   Universum Gym, Hamburg, Germany
7 Win 6–0–1   Zakeem Graham TKO 3 (10), 2:26 22 May 2003   Raceway, Yonkers, New York, US
6 Draw 5–0–1   Rob Calloway TD 3 (10), 2:41 5 Oct 2002   Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan, US TD after Calloway was cut from an accidental head clash
5 Win 5–0   Chris Isaac UD 8 11 May 2002   Grand Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi, US
4 Win 4–0   Val Smith KO 1 (4), 2:26 14 Jan 2002   The Joint, Paradise, Nevada, US
3 Win 3–0   Everett Martin TKO 4 (4) 21 Sep 2001   Sport Palace Yunusabad, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
2 Win 2–0   Brian Jones KO 2 (4), 1:10 3 Sep 1997   Ramada Inn, Rosemont, Illinois, US
1 Win 1–0   Donnie Penelton KO 1 (4), 2:30 21 Aug 1997   Hollywood Casino, Aurora, Illinois, US

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  38. ^ "Chagaev's Title Run on Hold After Judge Issues Injunction". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
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  56. ^ "Ruslan Chagaev Rejects Farewell Fight, Intends To Stay Retired - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  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". 10 June 2015.
  59. ^ "Чемпион мира WBA Руслан Чагаев (Узбекистан): Только после боя я разглядел, какой же Валуев огромный!". Советский Спорт.

External linksEdit

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 (Europe)
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