World Boxing Association’s (WBA) heavyweight champion Manuel Charr tested positive for two banned substances one week ahead of his title defense against the North American Fres Oquendo on 29 September in Cologne, Germany.
The 33-year-old Lebanon-born boxer who fights for Germany failed a random Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) drug test conducted on 24 August. According to a report by The Sun, his urine sample came back positive for epitrenbolone and drostanolone, both anabolic steroids.
'Under the circumstances, we will unfortunately have to cancel the world title fight,' Charr told Cologne-based newspaper Express.
'I can only ask my fans and all the people in Cologne to believe me and to trust that everything will be cleared up.
'I'm totally shocked by the news - I have never taken anything.'
Charr’s management office confirmed the title defense against Oquendo was off.
WBA "regular" heavyweight champion Manuel Charr will not defend his belt next week against American Fres Oquendo. After testing positive for steroids. #jcalderonboxingtalk #charroquendo pic.twitter.com/Wxx1DJLZ63— JCalderonBoxingTalk (@Jcalderonboxing) 20 September 2018
Chances of Joshua bout scrapped
By failing the VADA test, Charr’s chances of taking on British champion Anthony Joshua have been scrapped.
Joshua, who currently is the unified heavyweight world champion and WBA ‘Super’ champion, will defend his titles in London on Saturday against Alexander Povetkin.
Earlier this month, the British boxer was called out by Charr. Quoted by BoxeoMundial.com, the Lebanese said: “Bring on Anthony Joshua! He calls himself WBA Super Champion. I think it’s time to prove how Super he really is.
“I am the World Champion and I think we all agree that there should be only one Champion. So, AJ, if you beat Povektin and I beat Oquendo, we should find out who is the real WBA Champ.”
Last November, Charr won the vacant WBA heavyweight belt with a unanimous win against Russia’s Alexander Ustinov.
He claimed to be Germany’s first heavyweight champion since Max Schmeling. However, this turned out to be false, since the Beirut-born does not hold a German passport.