Back in August, Daniel Dubois lost his WBA Regular heavyweight title when he suffered a technical-knockout defeat to Oleksandr Usyk. Now, the belt is back in circulation and will reportedly be up for grabs in Bulgaria.
Shortly after Dubois’ defeat, the WBA reinstated Manuel Charr as the Regular champion, regardless of the fact that he failed to fight during 2023, as a result of a court settlement.
Ever since, the Syrian-German has had a target on his back, with the likes of Dubois and Martin Bakole calling him out with a view to becoming a mandatory challenger for the winner of Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk.
However according to esteemed boxing journalist Dan Rafael, Charr has instead opted to make a first defence of the title against Bulgarian former heavyweight title challenger Kubrat Pulev.
This is despite Pulev not being ranked in the top fifteen with the WBA, and will serve as Charr’s first contest in fifteen months and Pulev’s second outing since defeat to Derek Chisora in July 2022.
NEWS: Per source, Mahmoud Charr will defend the WBA “regular” heavyweight title vs. Kubrat Pulev. Fight is signed, per source, & will take place March TBA in Bulgaria, Pulev’s home country. Charr considered others, including Derek Chisora, but deal didn't work out. #boxing
— Dan Rafael (@DanRafael1) January 11, 2024
Reports suggest that the bout will take place in March 2024 in Bulgaria, likely at the Arena Sofia where Pulev has fought on three previous occasions in wins over Samuel Peter, Kevin Johnson and Hughie Fury.
Rafael also confirmed that Charr was in talks to face Derek Chisora, in a clash that would likely have taken place on either the Fury-Usyk or Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou undercards, due to ‘Del Boy’s’ connections in Saudi Arabia, but talks instead collapsed.
Aged thirty-nine and forty respectively, the showdown is likely both men’s last chance to challenge for full world honours, with the WBA next in line for the Fury-Usyk victor, if the IBF title becomes vacant as is expected.