Arab heavyweight champion Manuel Charr calls out Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua

Germany's Manuel Charr become a heavyweight champion after beating Russia's Alexander Ustinov in November. (AFP)
Updated 03 June 2018

Arab heavyweight champion Manuel Charr calls out Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua

  • Charr preparing to make the first defence of his title against Fres Oquendo
  • But he's got his sights set on British pair

Manuel Charr has fuelled suspicions he plans to use his WBA heavyweight title to secure a lucrative fight with Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury by calling out the British rivals.
The Lebanon-born Syrian, 33, is preparing to make the first defence of his title against mandatory challenger Fres Oquendo in Cologne, Germany on Sept. 29, and if he succeeds he will thereafter be in contention for a higher-profile fight.
Fury this Saturday returns to the ring after an absence of more than two-and-a-half years, and against Sefer Seferi, the Albanian Charr outpointed only two fights ago. Joshua remains in negotiations to meet either Deontay Wilder or Alexander Povetkin, but if he is to maintain his present level of activity he will need three opponents during 2019.
“I have a message for Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua,” Charr said. “It’s my time. I’m coming for you guys to the UK, and I’m hoping to meet you in the ring.
“It will be fireworks, I promise. Manuel Charr is back as WBA heavyweight champion.
“I’m coming for you, ‘AJ’. Tyson, AJ, I’m coming for you.”
Charr similarly confronted David Haye during the post-fight press conference of the latter’s victory over Dereck Chisora in July 2012, effectively ensuring his selection as an opponent for Haye the following year.
A hand injury Haye suffered meant that their fight never took place, but if the Briton refuses to retire despite successive defeats by Tony Bellew it would be for financial gain, so Charr would again become a logical target. Possession of the WBA title increases bargaining power, owing to its marketability in a fight against another of the division’s champions.
For that reason Charr is also considered a suitable target for Fury, who without a title could struggle to secure the purse he would expect from the potential fight with Joshua that will increasingly be in demand. Seferi’s selection as the former champion’s opponent was even justified by his promoter Frank Warren by the fact Seferi took Charr the distance, suggesting that the Syrian is on their radar and giving September’s fight with Oquendo further importance.


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.