Charr Chops Ustinov Down to Size

By Robert Ecksel on November 25, 2017
Charr Chops Ustinov Down to Size
“I have experienced everything one can experience.” (picture-alliance/dpa/Guido Kirchner)

Ustinov went down in the eighth. The fight at that point was Charr’s to lose and the man who had lost so much was determined not to lose again…

Saturday night at König-Pilsener-Arena in Oberhausen, Germany, Manuel “Diamond Boy” Charr (31-4, 17 KOs), from Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, by way of Beirut, Lebanon, returned from the dead to decision Alexander “The Great” Ustinov (32-2, 25 KOs), from Minsk, Belarus, by way of Paustovo, Russia, to win the vacant WBA World heavyweight title.

The final scores after 12 rounds were 116-111 (John Poturaj) and 115-111 twice (Stefano Carozza and Stanley Christodoulou).

Fighting out of the blue corner in white trunks, Charr was the underdog coming in. He was ceding advantages in height and reach and had not fought in over a year. Charr was shot in the stomach in September 2015 following an altercation at a kebab restaurant. “It was said at the time that I’d never box again,” but Charr returned to the ring seven months later and picked up where he left off. More bad news, however, was to come. “The doctors diagnosed congenital hip dysplasia—I had the mobility in the joints of an 80-year-old,” and both hips needed to be replaced.

Ustinov, fighting out of the blue corner in black trunks, was favored to win, and not just because he hadn’t been shot in the abdomen or had double-hip replacement surgery. Four inches taller than Charr and riding a seven-fight win streak dating back to 2012, when he experienced his only loss, an 11th round knockout to Kubrat Pulev for the European heavyweight title, many thought Ustinov would have an easy night of it.

He drew first blood in round two, when Charr was cut over his left eye. But Ustinov is a plodder. He telegraphs his punches, which thud but lack snap, and his defense is adequate at best.

It took Charr several rounds to find his rhythm. His tight defense saved him in the early going and he started coming into his own in the middle rounds. He staggered Ustinov in the seventh. In round eight he caught the Russian with a cracking left hook to the eye that drew blood and put him on the canvas.

Ustinov was never the same after that. He beat the count and continued to fight, effectively at times and ineffectively at others. But the fight at that point was Charr’s to lose and the man who had lost so much was determined not to lose again.

“I am so happy,” he said after the fight. “The past two years I have experienced everything one can experience. From being shot in the stomach to my two new hips. But I fought through it.

“What can I say? Germany, we are World Champions.”

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Manuel Charr vs Alexander Ustinov 2017-11-25

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