Lucas Browne could face Fres Oquendo after Chagaev is stripped
Heavyweight Lucas Browne may face Fres Oquendo as part of the WBA’s tournament to consolidate its titles as a way to settle the lawsuit that Browne filed against the WBA in the wake of his positive drug test after his bout with Ruslan Chagaev, WBA president Gilberto Mendoza Jr. told RingTV.com in an email.
This is only possible because Chagaev has been stripped of his WBA “regular” heavyweight title and removed from the ratings for failing to pay a sanctioning fee in the amount of $40,750 for a previous bout with Oquendo, according to a letter from the WBA to Chagaev obtained by RingTV.com. Chagaev was supposed to face Oquendo after the title was given back to him after Browne’s positive test, but now Browne may be given the opportunity.
Browne tested positive for clenbuterol following his come-from-behind 10th round stoppage of Chagaev to win a secondary title on March 5 in Russia. He was stripped of his title and suspended for six months. Browne filed suit against the WBA in May in Tacoma, Washington, claiming he didn’t intentionally digest any banned substances. Browne has offered that he might have eaten steak the night before the fight that contained clenbuterol.
Mendoza said the WBA may order that Browne and Oquendo face each other as a way to resolve Browne’s lawsuit. “As you may know, Browne sue(d) the WBA in Washington state,” Mendoza wrote to RingTV.com. “A settlement possibility could be Oquendo v. Browne for the regular title in order to continue the tournament.”
Asked to clarify, Mendoza suggested a fight with Oquendo could be used as an olive branch to clear up the lawsuit. “(There could be the) possibility for a settlement,” he wrote back. The letter does say that if Chagaev pays the WBA the sanctioning fee, along with applicable interest, he could be reinstated in the WBA’s ratings.