News: Valuev Tires of Waiting For Chagaev, Wants Optional Defense

By Boxing News - 04/01/2009 - Comments

vaqluev3343By Eric Thomas: World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev (50-1, 34 KOs) has tired of waiting for Ruslan Chagaev, the WBA champion in recess, to fight him and will now be seeking out a voluntary defense until the WBA assists Valuev in getting a match with Chagaev. Valuev, 35, has been seeking out a rematch with Chagaev, 30, who defeated him by a questionable 12-round majority decision in April 2007, hasn’t had any luck in getting Chagaev in the ring.

Since beating Valuev two years ago, Chagaev has only defended the WBA title a pitiful two times due to various injuries and illnesses that Chagaev keeps experiencing. Chagaev is extremely fortunate that he is still in possession of a portion of the title, because he probably should have been stripped long ago due to his reoccurring health problems.

Unless the WBA can assist Valuev with landing a fight with Chagaev, which seems doubtful at this time, it looks as if Valuev will have to seek out another opponent until Chagaev can be persuaded into fighting Valuev.

Given Valuev’s last performance, a controversial 12-round majority decision over 46-year-old Evander Holyfield in December 2008, Valuev will likely have to be extremely careful when selecting opponents. Valuev looked old, slower and more than a little over the hill against Holyfield, and it would be hard to imagine who Valuev could dig up that would be a non-threatening opponent for him in the top 15.

Valuev might do well to look at fights against the likes of Michael Grant, Brian Minto or Martin Rogan. I can’t see Valuev wanting to fight any heavyweights above this level, because they’d be a real threat to him in the way he looked against Holyfield.

I think Rogan would be a big problem for Valuev and could very well beat him, but the boxing fans would get their money’s worth by Valuev choosing him as an opponent. Grant, with his history of a weak chin, would likely not make it in the first couple of rounds.

If Valuev wants an easy fight, that would be a perfect non-risk taking fight for him and one that would play out well for the German audience, who like to have their hometown fighters set up in easy mismatches. Minto, a fringe contender, would be an easy fight as well for Valuev. Minto is more of an overweight cruiserweight than a true heavyweight and would be dwarfed by Valuev’s huge size.

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