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WBA Champ Ruslan Chagaev Backed By Powerful Team

Regular WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev has started training camp for the first defense of his second title reign which is supposed to take place in early 2015 in Hamburg.

After his mandatory challenger Luis Ortiz disqualified himself with a positive test, Team Chagaev is currently looking for an opponent.

"Ruslan is ready to go but now that Ortiz is out we will have to see who is available", says promoter Timur Dugazaev. "And of course, we need to coordinate the exact date and challenger with the WBA. We will announce the fight once the contracts are signed."

This week Chagaev and his team will take a close look at the action that will take place in their adapted hometown of Hamburg. The regular WBA champion will be ringside when "Super Champion" Wladimir Klitschko defends his titles against Kubrat Pulev.

"I still want my rematch with Wladimir and I know that I will get it", says Chagaev. "I didn't have any time to prepare for our first fight in summer 2009 because they brought me in as last minute replacement. I didn't want to pass on the chance but I am not happy with the circumstances.

"I know that it will be a different fight when I have the chance to get ready. To take on Wladimir I have to be in the best possible physical shape and I also need the right mindset."

After winning the WBA championship for the second time, the 36-year-old Uzbek started training with champion coach Fritz Sdunek. They have known each other for a long time as they were both signed to promotional powerhouse Universum Box-Promotion but they never really worked with each other until Chagaev beat Fres Oquendo this summer in Grozny.

Sdunek was at the show as head coach of former world champion Juan Carlos Gomez and helped his former assistant Artur Grigorian as cutman in Chagaev's corner. When Chagaev suffered a cut early in the fight, Sdunek took charge and led him to the victory and to regaining "his" world title.

After that, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrow, who had helped put the fight against Oquendo together in Grozny as Chagaev's friend and supporter, urged promoter Timur Dugazaev to sign Sdunek as new head coach. "Fritz is definitely the best trainer in Germany", states Dugazaev. "He is doing a tremendous job with Ruslan."

Says Chagaev, "I think with Fritz Sdunek as head coach, Artur Grigorian as his assistant, Timur Dugazaev as promoter and, of course, Ramzan Kadyrow as supporter in my corner, I cannot go wrong and I am ready to take on every possible challenge."

Asked about his relationship with the Chechen President, the WBA champion adds: "He is like a brother to me and I have the utmost respect for his gigantic work ethic and discipline. He is working really hard for his people and I am very grateful for all his help. He is surely a great man."

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