Arab star Manuel Charr called out by Tyson Fury

The Beirut-born Manuel Charr is the WBA world heavyweight champion. (Reuters)
Updated 11 January 2018

Arab star Manuel Charr called out by Tyson Fury

LONDON: Arab heavyweight champion Manuel Charr has emerged as a possible comeback opponent for Tyson Fury.

Fury, 29, has not fought since sensationally beating Wladimir Klitschko in their world heavyweight title fight in November 2015 due to a drugs ban and mental health problems. He has continually called out Anthony Joshua in the last few months but it is set to be announced on Friday that Joshua will fight Joseph Parker at the Millennium Stadium on Mar. 31.

Instead, Fury dropped a hint that Charr, the Beirut-born son of a Syrian, could be the man he faces in his comeback fight in April. Fury must sign for a fight by the end of the month to ensure he is not stripped of his The Ring magazine world heavyweight belt.

"Tell me I'm not gonna take over the division once again!" tweeted Fury. "Wilder AJ Parker Charr watch out as the boggy man is coming for you! I'll see you in your nightmares! GYPSYKING WILL REIGN OVER THE WORLD."

Charr, 33, won the WBA world heavyweight title in November when he beat Russia’s Alexander Ustinov by unanimous decision, the world’s first Arab heavyweight boxing champion. He would love to land a money-spinning fight against Fury, Joseph Parker, Deontay Wilder or Joshua but Puerto Rico’s Fres Oquendo has a New York court order to fight for the WBA world title of the heavyweight division. Both parties were duly notified on Nov. 26 and were supposed to reach agreement before Dec. 22. There has been no news since of their scheduled March meeting.

Charr’s rise to the near top of the sport has been remarkable. He was stabbed in the back when he was 16 and in September 2015, he was left fighting for his life after being shot in the stomach following an altercation at a kebab restaurant in Essen. Charr returned to the ring just seven months later, bearing the scars of the attack on his abdomen. Then came another blow earlier this year when both hips had to be replaced. He had one crack at a world title in 2012 when he took on Vitali Klitschko but that ended after four rounds. He was more successful late last year when he beat Ustinov in Germany. He now has won 31 of his 35 fights, with 17 KOs.

Ibrahimovic’s return to training with Sweden’s Hammarby sparks rumors about future

Updated 10 April 2020

Ibrahimovic’s return to training with Sweden’s Hammarby sparks rumors about future

STOCKHOLM: AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return to training in Sweden with Hammarby, the club he part owns, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to lockdown Italy, has fueled speculation regarding his future.

Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported the 38-year-old Ibrahimovic will choose against renewing his Milan deal which finishes at the end of the season.

The Swedish outfit’s president, Richard Von Yxkull, said the decision was in the hands of the attacker who played 116 times for his country before retiring from international duty in 2016.

“It’s about knowing how Zlatan sees his future and what he wants to do,” Von Yxkull told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Earlier in April the Spanish, Italian, French and Dutch league winner said he wanted to stay in the game after retiring.

“I want to learn something new about football, with a different angle. I will contribute from the sidelines, not on the pitch,” he told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Ibrahimovic’s last Milan appearance was the loss to Genoa on March 8.

All football in Italy has been suspended due to the coronavirus which has claimed the lives of nearly 18,000 people in the country.

Measures to fight the outbreak in Sweden are lighter which have allowed Ibrahimovic to train with Stockholm’s Hammarby, a side which he bought a 25-percent share in last November.

Ibrahimovic started his career with hometown club Malmo before trophy-laden spells with some of the world’s biggest outfits including Juventus, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain before rejoining Milan in January.