Update: This fight was cancelled due to promoter issues This Sunday, July 6th in Grozny, Russia, a Heavyweight boxing match-up takes place between veterans Fres Oquendo and Ruslan Chagaev for the vacant WBA Heavyweight Title. As we close in on the fight, 5Dimes Sportsbook has Chagaev a big (-1050) favorite over Oquendo, who returns (+550). Chagaev is still an impressive 32-2 over his career, though he will be most remembered for his losses, to Alexander Povetkin and Wladimir Klitschko. Chagaev previously held a version of the WBA Heavyweight title when he defeated Carl Davis of Costa Rica for the accolade back in 2009. This is Chagaev’s first fight since October of 2013, and he has reeled off five straight wins since his loss to Povetkin. Chagaev is looking to get another shot at either Klitschko or Povetkin, and he has been fighting less than stellar competition to build up his record. Chagaev’s last opponent, Jovo Pudar retired for 6 years in 2004 after losing to Samuel Peter, and is 8-0 in his return fighting in the Balkans, and was 7 years older and 25 lbs lighter than Chagaev. You get the picture. Oquendo is also 41 years old and his best days are behind him. He has a solid resume, taking James Toney and Evander Holyfield the distance in losses. He recently returned to the ring after a layoff of a year, winning by TKO over Galen Brown (41-26-1 overall). In 2012, which is not too long ago, Oquendo fought a 4 rounder in Iowa against Travis Fulton, who is 15-26 in boxing but is best known for a record of over 250 fights in MMA. Oquendo won by DQ after Fulton wrestled him to the ground. So you get the picture here as well. Oquendo is more dangerous than some of his previous opponents, but at 41 years old, it is doubtful that he is heading to Russia with more expectations than a paycheck. In his hopes for another title shot, Chagaev’s dreams may be more unrealistic, as a win over Oquendo should not propel him up the rankings or open too many eyes at this point. But it keeps Chagaev active, and it does have the WBA bauble that Chagaev previously had on the line, so Chagev’s motivation, especially with the home field advantage which can be very strong in Russia, should be much higher than Oquendo’s for this one. Laying the juice on Chagaev is steep, but it may bring you back some money. Betting Oquendo for the upset is best left to Oquendo’s friends and family.
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