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.


Chinese basketball to resume on June 20 after coronavirus

Updated 34 min 38 sec ago

Chinese basketball to resume on June 20 after coronavirus

  • China’s first major sports league to return to action after the coronavirus

SHANGHAI: The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) season will resume on June 20, the CBA said on Thursday, becoming the country’s first major sports league to return to action after the coronavirus.
The campaign was halted in February but will return after the number of infections dropped markedly in China, where the pandemic emerged at the end of last year.
The resumption of the CBA puts pressure on football — the other leading sport in China — to similarly get going again after a months-long indefinite postponement.
“With the approval of the sports and health department, CBA league will resume on June 20 and all preparations have entered a substantive stage,” the CBA said on the Twitter-like Weibo.
Defending champions Guangdong ranked first in the league after 30 matches, before the CBA announced in late January that the competition would be suspended from February 1.
Earlier this week, former NBA star Jeremy Lin, now with the Beijing Ducks, said players and fans wanted basketball back as soon as possible.
“We don’t care whether the games are played in empty arenas or under a championship-like competition system,” Lin said.
“We just want to play and let fans see the games on TV or the Internet.”