Heavyweight secondary titlist Manuel Charr had his suspension for a failed drug test lifted by the WBA on Monday and was ordered by the sanctioning body to make a mandatory defense against Fres Oquendo within 60 days.
Charr (31-4, 17 KO's), 34, a Syria native who trains out of Germany, was due to defend his belt against Oquendo last September in Cologne, but tested positive for two anabolic steroids, and the fight was canceled.
The WBA suspended Charr for six months, but did not strip him of the "regular" belt -- unified titlist Anthony Joshua is the WBA's "Super" champion -- because the Charr camp complained that their fighter did not have a representative present for his B sample testing. Furthermore, Charr provided a third sample to VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association), and the sample tested negative.
Oquendo (37-8, 24 KO's), 45, a Puerto Rico native who trains out of Chicago, has not fought since losing a majority decision to Ruslan Chagaev for the same secondary belt in July 2014. The WBA is obligated to give Oquendo another shot after his promoters secured a preliminary injunction against Terek Box Event which prevented the company from promoting former champion Ruslan Chagaev in any future WBA title bouts until he gave Oquendo a rematch. However, Chagaev retired in July 2016 due to the state of his eyes.
Oquendo was also set to face former titleholder Shannon Briggs in June 2017 for the same title, but Briggs tested positive for synthetic testosterone.