Valuev-Bergeron: Nikolay Back in Action On Saturday
Former WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev (46-1, 34 KOs) makes his first appearance since losing his heavyweight title to Ruslan Chagaev on April 14th when he takes on undefeated Canadian Jean-Francois Bergeron (27-0, 19 KOs) at the EWE-Arena, in Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, Germany. Both fighters are 34, although Bergeron has faced exclusivly soft opposition in his native Canada. Valuev is in the rebuilding stage of his career after losing a controversial 12-round majority decision against Chagaev, a bout in which Valuev appeared to tire badly in the latter rounds of the fight.
Bergeron, ranked #13 in the WBA, has good sixe at 6’5″, though he is perhaps too slender, only weighing 216 lbs. This fact alone will likely be a substantial problem against the 320 lbs Valuev, who will have a 100 pound weight advantage going into the bout. This may not seem like a big deal, but for Bergeron to have to wrestle and trade shots with someone of that size all night long, it can add up to big problems.
Ideally, Bergeron will hope to box and stay outside, preventing the slower moving Valuev to get in close where he will maul the smaller Bergeron. However, Bergeron will have to come inside at some point to trade shots because he won’t be able to defeat Valuev with his jab alone, at least not in Germany, that is.
Once Bergeron comes within range of the giant Valuev, he will no doubt get hit with some of Valuev’s powerful hooks and uppercuts. If Bergeron can take the shots, while landing enough of his own, he might be able to win a close decision. However, I have my doubts about his chances. He’s not as fast as Chagaev, nor as powerful, meaning that he’ll have to land a lot of punches in order to win. Not likely.