Chagaev in 2007
|Real name||Ruslan Shamilevich Chagaev|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Reach||188 cm (74 in)|
|Born||19 October 1978|
Andijan, Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union (now Uzbekistan)
|Wins by KO||21|
Ruslan Shamilevich Chagaev (Tatar: Руслан Шамил улы Чагаев/Ruslan Şamil ulı Çağayev; Uzbek: Ruslan Shamil'evich Chagaev; Russian: Руслан Шамилович Чагаев); born 19 October 1978) is a retired Uzbek professional boxer of Tatarian descent who competed from 2001 to 2016. He held the WBA heavyweight title twice, from 2007 to 2009 and from 2014 to 2016, and was the first Asian boxer to win a world heavyweight title by any of the four major sanctioning bodies.
Chagaev is one of a few professional boxers to resume his amateur career after a few professional bouts in 1997. Chagaev was reinstated as an amateur by AIBA the following year as his professional bouts were declared exhibitions.
In 2007, Chagaev defeated then-unbeaten Nikolai Valuev to win his first WBA heavyweight title, and would make two successful defences. Due to injuries and being unable to grant Valuev a rematch in 2009, the WBA stripped Chagaev of the title. He went on to suffer his first professional loss in the same year to unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Chagaev won the WBA (Regular) heavyweight title by defeating Fres Oquendo in 2014. He made one successful defence, then lost the title to Lucas Browne in 2016. However, after Browne failed a drug test, the WBA reinstated Chagaev as champion, but he was once again stripped of the title in July after failing to pay sanctioning fees. On 28 July 2016 he announced his retirement from boxing due to ongoing eye injuries.
Chagaev won gold at the 1997 World Amateur Boxing Championships heavyweight, defeating Félix Savón in the finals, but later he was stripped of the championship for having 2 professional bouts in the United States before the tournament. Chagaev is the only non-Cuban boxer to defeat Félix Savón twice, and the only one to do it at the world championships, which Savón have won consecutively. Savón suffered his first international defeat in more than a decade, when he met Chagaev for a first time. His amateur career is also merited with absence of stoppages on his part, with all four his losses were standing defeats with him being outpointed.
Uzbek National Spartakiade (91 kg), Tashkent, Uzbekistan, January 1996:
Trofeo Italia (+81 kg), Naples, Italy, March 1997:
Usti Grand Prix (91 kg), Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic, March 1997:
King's Cup (91 kg), Bangkok, Thailand, April 1997:
Ahmet Cömert Memorial (91 kg), Istanbul, Turkey, April 2000:
Ahmet Cömert Memorial (+91 kg), Istanbul, Turkey, April-May 2001:
Chagaev had a few professional bouts while competing as an amateur. He finished his amateur career having a total of 85 fights under his belt, with a record of 81 wins, 4 losses (no stoppages.)
1997–2005: Early career
Having fought twice in 1997, Chagaev returned to amateur boxing. He turned pro fully in 2001, with the only flaw on his early record coming 5 October 2002 bout against Rob Calloway in Detroit, Michigan, United States. At the end of third round, the fight was stopped due to Calloway having a wound caused by a headbutt. Michigan boxing rule mandated that the fight be called a Technical Draw (TD) since the bout ended by an accidental foul. Usually four rounds are needed to go to the score cards for decision.
Chagaev slowly but steadily climbed up the heavyweight ranks, first avenging the no-contest with a brutal second-round knockout of Calloway.
2006: Title contender
On 18 November 2006, he fought the former WBA champion John Ruiz, and prevailed in a close contest. He took a split decision with scores of 117–111 and 116–112 for Chagaev, and 115–114 for Ruiz. Chagaev became the mandatory challenger for a shot at Nikolai Valuev, the WBA heavyweight champion at the time. Valuev was sat ringside and believed Chagaev was the rightful winner.
2007–2009: WBA heavyweight champion
Chagaev vs. Valuev
The fight between Chagaev and WBA titlist Valuev took place on 14 April 2007 at the Porsche-Arena in Stuttgart, Germany. Chagaev won the fight and WBA title via a majority decision (117–111, 115–113 and 114–114). Many ringside had the fight close and some calling it controversial. With the win, Chagaev became the first Asian to win a world heavyweight title.
On 26 June 2007, it was announced that Chagaev would partake in a heavyweight unification bout with WBO heavyweight champion Sultan Ibragimov. The fight was due to take place in Moscow on 13 October 2007 and would have been the first heavyweight unification bout since 1999; however, Chagaev had to drop out of the fight after contracting hepatitis B. At that point, it was not clear whether he would have been able to compete at all, with WBA considering a championship tournament for Chagaev's crown. After Ibragimov defended his crown against Evander Holyfield, however, it was announced that Chagaev was able to recover.
Chagaev vs. Skelton
Chagaev made his first official defence against Commonwealth heavyweight champion Matt Skelton (21-1, 18 KOs) on 19 January 2008 at the Burg-Waechter Castello in Düsseldorf. Skelton's promoter Frank Warren initially wanted the fight to take place in February or March, but Chagaev insisted an earlier date. In regards to fighting Skelton, Chagaev said, "I am completely healthy and I am ready to fight, I want to get in the ring. It will be a hard fight against a good puncher." The fight was marred with a series of illegal tactics initiated by Skelton, many of them resembling techniques used in Muay Thai and kickboxing matches. Chagaev retained his WBA title via unanimous decision, with the judges scoring the fight 117-110, 117-111 and 117-111 in Chagaev's favour.
His next mandatory defense was to be a rematch on 5 July 2008 with Nikolai Valuev, who defeated former WBO champion Sergei Liakhovich by unanimous decision to earn the right. However, the fight had to be cancelled after Chagaev suffered a complete tear of an Achilles tendon during his final sparring session in preparation for the defense, causing Chagaev's second postponement of the match. The WBA elected to make Chagaev "Champion in Recess" due to the injury that Chagaev sustained and necessary recovery time and mandated that top-contenders Valuev and John Ruiz meet for the vacated title. By beating Ruiz, Valuev also became champion on 30 August 2008.
Chagaev vs. Drumond
Chagaev returned from injury on 7 February 2009 to fight the then-unbeaten Costa Rican Carl Davis Drumond. For the fight, Chagaev was not listed as WBA champion, but rather the "Champion in Recess". The fight took place at the StadtHalle in Rostock. Chagaev sustained a cut from an unintentional clash of heads in the third round. The fight ended after round 6, with Chagaev winning the fight via technical decision. Chagaev was taken to hospital after the fight for treatment. Judge Jean-Louis Legland had Chagaev ahead 60-54, whilst judges Hector Afu and Paul Thomas had Chagaev ahead 58-56.
Chagaev and Valuev were supposed to fight no later than 26 June 2009 to determine who the WBA regarded as their champion. They were scheduled to fight on 30 May 2009 in Helsinki, Finland at the Hartwall Arena, but Chagaev failed a Finnish medical test, allegedly due to hepatitis.
Chagaev vs. Klitschko
Unified world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko was scheduled to face David Haye on 20 June 2009, but Haye pulled out within weeks of the fight complaining of a back injury. Chagaev agreed to step in for Haye as a last-minute replacement. The winner would take the vacant Ring magazine heavyweight title in the battle between their number 1 ranked heavyweight, Klitschko, and third ranked Chagaev. Klitschko was defending his IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles. Chagaev's WBA champion in recess title was not on the line.  The Ring's pre-fight comparison gave Chagaev the edge on defense, praising him for his fundamentals and footwork, and thought he had a stronger chin. It gave Klitschko the advantage in power, speed, athletic ability and experience.
The fight took place at Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen. With over 61,000 fans attending the fight it was the largest audience for a boxing match in Germany since 1939, when Max Schmeling knocked out Adolf Heuser in front of 70,000 people in Stuttgart. Klitschko dominated the fight, keeping Chagaev at the end of his jab and throwing straight right hand whenever necessary. Klitschko dropped Chagaev near the end of the second round, and was gradually fighting more aggressively as the fight progressed. Chagaev's trainer Michael Timm did not allow Chagaev to come out for the tenth round, prompting the referee to wave the bout off, declaring Klitschko the winner by corner retirement (RTD). On 24 July 2009, when the WBA published their Official Ratings as of June 2009, Chagaev was no longer the "Champion in Recess" but the No. 1 challenger instead.
2010–11: Regaining composure
Chagaev fought Kali Meehan (35–3, 29 KO) on 22 May 2010, in a WBA heavyweight title eliminator at the Stadthalle in Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. Chagaev won the bout by unanimous decision with the scores of 117–111, 117–112 and 118–110. Six months later in a stay-busy fight, he defeated Travis Walker via unanimous decision in an eight-round fight which turned into a slugfest.
Chagaev vs. Povetkin
After Wladimir Klitschko unified his WBO and IBF titles with David Haye's WBA title, Klitschko was upgraded to "Super Champion" by the WBA, thus making the "Regular Champion" title vacant. On 6 July 2011 negotiations for Chagaev to fight Russian heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin (21-0, 15 KOs) for the vacant title began between Sauerland, who promote Povetkin, and Chagaev's promoter Universum. Two days later, Povetkin's trainer confirmed the fight would take place on 27 August. At the time of the bout, Chagaev was ranked No.4 heavyweight contender by The Ring, while Povetkin was ranked No.3 contender by the same publication. There were concerns about Chagaev's health state, due to him being diagnosed with hepatitis B and the possibility of him infecting Povetkin. Chagaev, however, insisted that the medical examination had confirmed that his opponents (Povetkin included) weren't in danger of being infected. Most observers expected the fight to be close, giving Chagaev an advantage in experience, while also giving Povetkin the edge in youth and athletic ability. Both fighters were given an even chance to win.
Both fighters were active from the opening bell, with Povetkin appearing to have the upper hand in the first half of the fight, frequently closing the distance and working Chagaev's body, while blocking most Chagaev's shots with arms and gloves. Povetkin staggered Chagaev with an uppercut in the third round. Chagaev regained composure in the middle rounds, hurting tired Povetkin several times with clubbing left hooks. Povetkin withstood Chagaev's attacks and re-established his pressure going into the championship rounds, while Chagaev appeared to be saving energy for the last rounds. The twelfth round saw both fighters trading shots. The bout went full twelve rounds, with Povetkin being declared the winner by unanimous decision. The scores were 116–112 (twice) and 117–113, all in favor of Povetkin. According to CompuBox, Povetkin landed 152 punches out of 533 thrown (28.5%) with 112 landed power shots (39.6%), while Chagaev landed 72 punches out of 416 thrown (17.1%) with 62 power punches (35.2%).
2012–16: WBA Regular champion
After the Povetkin bout, Chagaev went 5-0 (3 KO), defeating world ranked Jovo Pudar & four journeymen with respectable records.
On 15 June 2013, at a press conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, European heavyweight champion Kubrat Pulev (17-0, 9 KOs) stated his plans to fight Chagaev next although details had not been discussed. Towards the end of the month, Chagaev spoke out denying any rumours that he was interested in a fight with Pulev. He instead stated that he was closing in on a deal to fight undefeated Cuban Luis Otiz (19-0, 16 KOs) in the fall of 2013.
Chagaev vs. Oquendo
In May 2014, talks began for a fight between Chagaev and former world title challenger Fres Oquendo (37-7, 24 KOs) for the vacant WBA "regular" heavyweight title in June. Oquendo climbed the WBA rankings further after stopping Galen Brown (41-27-1, 24 KOs) in two rounds earlier in the month. Oquendo pulled out in July due to passport issues and was on the verge of being replaced by German boxer Alexander Petkovic (49-4-4, 27 KOs), however Oquendo managed to board a plane, confirming the bout was still on. The fight took place on 6 July at the Ahmat Arena in Grozny. Chagaev claimed the vacant title via majority decision after 12 rounds in a tough battle. Judge Guillermo Perez Pineda scored the fight 114-114, whilst judges Gustavo Jarquin and Alexis Marin both scored it 115-113 in favour of Chagaev, giving him the win. Chagaev controlled most of the fight with his constant jab and later in the fight started connecting with body shots. A few days after the fight, the WBA ordered Chagaev vs. Ortiz. Both camps had 30 days to negotiate a deal.
In November 2014, Oquendo spoke out about not receiving his guaranteed purse of $1 million and an immediate rematch within 120 days if he lost. His promoters Hitz Boxing and Square Ring Promotions, who were guaranteed an additional $100,000 were also reportedly not paid. Bobby Hitz of Hitz Boxing stated that they would file a lawsuit. In the same month, RUSADA released information from a mandatory drug test that was taken after the fight which stated that Oquendo had tested positive for tamoxifin and anastrozole. According to the fight contract, this meant Oquendo would need to pay back his purse. In December, a $5 million lawsuit was filed by Oquendo against promoter Terek Box Event seeking damages caused by the agreement to the Federal Court in Manhattan. In a statement, Oquendo said, “I am really looking forward to my day in court and finally getting justice. These guys pulled a really slick move and tricked me into fighting on July 6 by promising me to increase my purse to $1 million and giving me a rematch at a time when I wasn't mentally right, with my wife and newborn baby being sick and in the hospital. Well, now they are the ones behind the eight ball. They’ve got until January 2 to respond to the lawsuit.” In April 2015, the judges issued an injunction.
Chagaev vs. Pianeta
In May 2015, it was announced that Chagaev would make his first title defense against long time contender WBA #13 Francesco Pianeta (31-1, 17 KOs) on 11 July at the GETEC Arena in Magdeburg, Germany. Pianeta's only loss came in 2013 to Wladimir Klitschko via stoppage. World of Boxing president Andrey Ryabinsky helped settle the issue between Chagaev and Oquendo. With the legal battle finished, it was said that Oquendo would fight the winner of Chagaev vs. Pianeta. Chagaev won the fight via 1st-round TKO. Pianeta was dropped with two lefts but beat the 10 count. He was then dropped again following two more lefts. Referee Jean-Louis Legland stopped the fight 3 seconds before the round was due to end.
Chagaev vs. Browne
On 14 November 2015, the WBA ordered Chagaev to reach a deal to make a defence of his WBA title against Australian heavyweight contender Lucas Browne. The two sides had until 30 November to reach a deal. Chagaev's promoter Timur Dugazaev announced the fight would likely take place in Grozny in March 2016. In the January 2016, the fight was officially announced to take place on 5 March. Browne won the fight by stopping Chagaev in the tenth round. Browne landed nearly 20 unanswered punches, mostly right hands, before referee Stanley Christodoulou stopped the fight at 2 minutes, 27 seconds. Browne was knocked down in the sixth round and at the time of the knockout, behind on all judges scorecards (81-88, 82-88 twice).
On July 28, it was reported that Chagaev had been stripped of his WBA 'Regular' title for failure to pay outstanding sanctioning fees. According to WBA, Chagaev and promoter Timur Dugazaev have repeatedly failed to pay $40,750 in sanctioning fees related to Chagaev's majority decision victory against Fres Oquendo. The WBA said it sought payment multiple times and had no choice but to vacate the title when there was no response.
It was announced on 28 July 2016 by manager Timur Dugashev that Chagaev announced his retirement from boxing at the age of 37 due to problems with his eyes. Dugashev stated: "Ruslan informed us that he would no longer fight. The reason is the state of his eyes. Health is the most important thing."
There was reports in October 2016 that Chagaev was offered a farewell fight to close his career, potentially a rematch with Lucas Browne. Chagaev chose to stay retired due to health issues.
Chagaev is of Volga Tatar ethnicity and an adherent of Islam. His parents, Shamil and Zamira Chagaev, are Mishar Tatars from the village of Kalda (located in today's Baryshsky District of Ulyanovsk Oblast, Russia), who moved to the Uzbek SSR in the 1950s. Chagaev has a sister, Luiza. He is married to Viktoria, an ethnic Armenian, who is also from Andijan. They have three children together: Artur, Alan and Adam. Their first son, Artur, was born on 24 March 2004. Ruslan resides in Hamburg, Germany with his family.
Professional boxing record
|38 fights||34 wins||3 losses|
|38||Loss||34–3–1||Lucas Browne||TKO||10 (12), 2:02||5 Mar 2016||Colosseum Sport Hall, Grozny, Russia||Lost WBA (Regular) heavyweight title;|
Chagaev later reinstated as champion after Browne failed a drug test
|37||Win||34–2–1||Francesco Pianeta||TKO||1 (12), 2:57||11 Jul 2015||GETEC Arena, Magdeburg, Germany||Retained WBA (Regular) heavyweight title|
|36||Win||33–2–1||Fres Oquendo||MD||12||6 Jul 2014||Akhmat-Arena, Grozny, Russia||Won vacant WBA (Regular) heavyweight title|
|35||Win||32–2–1||Jovo Pudar||UD||12||5 Oct 2013||Olympic Stadium, Moscow, Russia||Won vacant WBA Continental (Europe) and PABA heavyweight titles|
|34||Win||31–2–1||Mike Sheppard||KO||1 (10), 1:40||22 Mar 2013||Universal Hall, Berlin, Germany|
|33||Win||30–2–1||Werner Kreiskott||TKO||7 (8), 0:14||1 Sep 2012||König Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Germany|
|32||Win||29–2–1||Billy Zumbrun||TKO||3 (8), 1:26||21 Apr 2012||Sport- und Kongresshalle, Schwerin, Germany|
|31||Win||28–2–1||Kertson Manswell||UD||8||28 Jan 2012||Grand Elysée Rotherbaum, Hamburg, Germany|
|30||Loss||27–2–1||Alexander Povetkin||UD||12||27 Aug 2011||Messe, Erfurt, Germany||For vacant WBA (Regular) heavyweight title|
|29||Win||27–1–1||Travis Walker||UD||8||19 Nov 2010||Universum Gym, Hamburg, Germany|
|28||Win||26–1–1||Kali Meehan||UD||12||22 May 2010||StadtHalle, Rostock, Germany|
|27||Loss||25–1–1||Wladimir Klitschko||RTD||9 (12), 3:00||20 Jun 2009||Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany||For IBF, WBO, IBO, and vacant The Ring heavyweight titles|
|26||Win||25–0–1||Carl Davis Drumond||TD||6 (12), 3:00||7 Feb 2009||StadtHalle, Rostock, Germany||Retained WBA heavyweight title;|
Unanimous TD after Chagaev was cut from an accidental head clash
|25||Win||24–0–1||Matt Skelton||UD||12||19 Jan 2008||Burg-Wächter Castello, Düsseldorf, Germany||Retained WBA heavyweight title|
|24||Win||23–0–1||Nikolai Valuev||MD||12||14 Apr 2007||Porsche-Arena, Stuttgart, Germany||Won WBA heavyweight title|
|23||Win||22–0–1||John Ruiz||SD||12||18 Nov 2006||Burg-Wächter Castello, Düsseldorf, Germany|
|22||Win||21–0–1||Michael Sprott||TKO||8 (12), 2:54||15 Jul 2006||Color Line Arena, Hamburg, Germany||Retained WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title;|
Won WBO Asia-Pacific heavyweight title
|21||Win||20–0–1||Volodymyr Virchis||MD||12||11 Mar 2006||Color Line Arena, Hamburg, Germany||Won WBA and WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight titles|
|20||Win||19–0–1||Rob Calloway||KO||2 (10), 2:10||7 Jan 2006||Zenith, Munich, Germany|
|19||Win||18–0–1||Mark Krence||KO||5 (8), 1:28||22 Oct 2005||Brandberge Arena, Halle, Germany|
|18||Win||17–0–1||Jucimar Francisco Hipolito||TKO||1 (8), 0:50||28 Sep 2005||Color Line Arena, Hamburg, Germany|
|17||Win||16–0–1||Sherman Williams||UD||8||26 Mar 2005||Erdgas Arena, Riesa, Germany|
|16||Win||15–0–1||Tommy Connelly||TKO||2 (8), 1:51||14 Dec 2004||Freizeit Arena, Sölden, Austria|
|15||Win||14–0–1||Asmir Vojnovic||TKO||4 (10), 0:45||16 Nov 2004||Kugelbake-Halle, Cuxhaven, Germany|
|14||Win||13–0–1||Willie Williams||KO||3 (8), 2:25||26 Oct 2004||Scandlines Arena, Rostock, Germany|
|13||Win||12–0–1||Garing Lane||KO||5 (8), 1:46||31 Jul 2004||Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, Stuttgart, Germany|
|12||Win||11–0–1||Sedreck Fields||KO||2 (8), 2:45||22 Jun 2004||Sportzentrum, Telfs, Austria|
|11||Win||10–0–1||Wade Lewis||TKO||1 (6), 2:33||18 May 2004||Hansehalle, Lübeck, Germany|
|10||Win||9–0–1||Alexey Varakin||KO||2 (6)||30 Mar 2004||Saaltheater Geulen, Aachen, Germany|
|9||Win||8–0–1||Sedreck Fields||UD||6||17 Feb 2004||Hansehalle, Lübeck, Germany|
|8||Win||7–0–1||Daniel Frank||KO||2 (6), 0:54||8 Nov 2003||Universum Gym, Hamburg, Germany|
|7||Win||6–0–1||Zakeem Graham||TKO||3 (10), 2:26||22 May 2003||Raceway, Yonkers, New York, US|
|6||Draw||5–0–1||Rob Calloway||TD||3 (10), 2:41||5 Oct 2002||Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan, US||TD after Calloway was cut from an accidental head clash|
|5||Win||5–0||Chris Isaac||UD||8||11 May 2002||Grand Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi, US|
|4||Win||4–0||Val Smith||KO||1 (4), 2:26||14 Jan 2002||The Joint, Paradise, Nevada, US|
|3||Win||3–0||Everett Martin||TKO||4 (4)||21 Sep 2001||Sport Palace Yunusabad, Tashkent, Uzbekistan|
|Was reinstated as an amateur boxer by AIBA, and resumed his amateur career|
|2||Win||2–0||Brian Jones||KO||2 (4), 1:10||3 Sep 1997||Ramada Inn, Rosemont, Illinois, US|
|1||Win||1–0||Donnie Penelton||KO||1 (4), 2:30||21 Aug 1997||Hollywood Casino, Aurora, Illinois, US|
11 March 2006
|Ruslan Chagaev vs. Volodymyr Virchis||
14 April 2007
|Nikolai Valuev vs. Ruslan Chagaev||
7 February 2009
|Ruslan Chagaev vs. Carl Davis Drumond||
20 July 2009
|Wladimir Klitschko vs. Ruslan Chagaev||
22 May 2010
|Ruslan Chagaev vs. Kali Meehan||
27 August 2011
|Ruslan Chagaev vs. Alexander Povetkin||
11 July 2015
|Ruslan Chagaev vs. Francesco Pianeta||
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|Regional boxing titles|
| WBA Inter-Continental
11 March 2006 – 15 July 2006
Title next held byTaras Bidenko
| WBO Inter-Continental
11 March 2006 – April 2006
Title next held byAlexander Dimitrenko
Title last held bySultan Ibragimov
| WBO Asia Pacific
15 July 2006 – March 2007
Title next held byDenis Bakhtov
|New title|| WBA Continental (Europe)
5 October 2013 – 6 July 2014
Won world title
Title next held byOtto Wallin
| PABA heavyweight champion
5 October 2013 – 5 July 2014
Title next held byJoseph Parker
|World boxing titles|
| WBA heavyweight champion
14 April 2007 – 18 July 2008
Title next held byNikolai Valuev
Title last held byAlexander Povetkin
| WBA heavyweight champion
6 July 2014 – 5 March 2016
| WBA heavyweight champion
13 May 2016 – 25 July 2016
Title next held byManuel Charr
|Honorary boxing titles|
|New title|| WBA heavyweight champion
18 July 2008 – 20 June 2009