Team Ruiz has filed an official petition with the World Boxing Association asking that heavyweight Ruslan Chagaev be stripped of his “Champion In Recess” status and demanding an immediate purse bid for Valuev-Ruiz III to be held by August 30 for the World Boxing Association heavyweight title. Two-time WBA heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz (43-8-1, 29 KOs) is the WBA mandated Official Challenger for WBA heavyweight champion Valuev. Team Ruiz’ petition stated, “As you are aware Ruslan Chagaev has been medically disqualified from participation in the fight against Valuev. According to the express ruling of the WBA on this issue he must accordingly be stripped of any title and Valuev must be ordered to fight John Ruiz, the Official Challenger before August 30, 2009.
“For the record John Ruiz is ready, willing and able to fulfill his obligations as the Official Challenger within the time dictated by Championship regulations, and he demands that no decision regarding this issue be made unless he has an opportunity to be heard by the Championship Committee, unless it is to order a purse bid for the bout between he and Valuev no later than August 30, 2009.”
“I’m ready to go,” Ruiz said. “I’ve been in the gym working hard because I knew something like this would happen. The WBA has to stand by its rules and order a purse bid for Valuev to fight me for the WBA heavyweight title and strip Chageav. This is the third time he hasn’t been able to fight for one reason or another. In baseball he’d be out. How many chances is the WBA going to give this guy? I wish they’d let the fighters in-line for a title shot know, so we’d all have a better idea about when somebody else will be fighting for that title.”
“According to the WBA’s specific rulings,” Ruiz attorney and advisor Anthony Cardinale explained, “it’s over for Chagaev as ‘Champion In Recess.’ Chagaev was medically unable to engage in this fight (vs. Valuev) and the WBA ruling stated he would lose his status if he was unable to fight – no excuses. The WBA mandatory rules revert back and Valuev has to make a mandatory defense by August 30, 2009. The WBA heavyweight title can’t be held hostage. It’s obvious that unsafe medical regulations in Germany regarding Chagaev’s medical condition do not apply anywhere else.”