WBA #15 heavyweight “Fast” Fres Oquendo is still fighting a years-long battle for his court-ordered world title shot. After numerous start and stops against several different opponents, Oquendo was scheduled to face WBA regular champion Manuel Charr last September 29 in Cologne, Germany. However, Charr tested positive for two banned substances and the fight was canceled. Charr was suspended by the WBA shortly after.
Here’s where it gets complicated. Oquendo’s guaranteed six-figure purse for the September 29 Charr fight is being held in escrow. According to Oquendo, when the fight was called off and not rescheduled, he should have been paid because the bout contract stipulated that he would be compensated if Charr tests positive for drugs.
Thus far, Oquendo has been unable to collect and he has filed a lawsuit to get his money. After recently winning a battle over country of jurisdiction, the case will be litigated in the U.S. with likely an August court date.
Going back to the Charr situation, when Charr tested positive for the anabolic steroids epitrenbolone and drostanolone, there was a snafu with the opening of the “B” sample which resulted in Charr not having a representative present. Charr was given a six month suspension by the WBA, but not stripped of the title.
In January, the WBA cut short the suspension and ordered Charr to defend against Oquendo within 60 days, however, Oquendo and Global Sports Management (Charr’s promoter) couldn’t come to terms. “They didn’t want to negotiate a price for the April bout with Charr because they wanted to pay me with the funds that were in escrow but I made sure that wasn’t happening,” explained Oquendo.
When the Charr-Oquendo bout didn’t come together, the WBA then ordered Charr to face interim champion Trevor Bryan.
At this point, Oquendo has lost five years of his boxing career and he wants the whole matter resolved. “I want my $325,000 escrow funds and to be declared champion by challenger’s default because of drug use which caused me and my boxing career irreparable damages,” he said.
However, Oquendo says he’s fit to fight for the title if asked to do so, having very recently passed a physical exam administered by the Illinois Boxing Commission certifying that he “is in good physical condition and is medically cleared to be licensed as a competitor in professional boxing.” His weight was 243.4 pounds.
When asked if talking to the press might jeopardize his case, Fres told us, “My attorney said the public needs to know about the injustices in the boxing industry.”