By Jim Dower: Earlier today, former WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev’s promoter sent out a press release, saying that they were accepting a $2.5 million offer for Valuev to fight World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko. However, Fightnews.com, is reporting that Klitschko manager Bernd Bonte says that was an old offer made eight months back and that the current offer is $1.5 million and has been for weeks. Bonte says that Valuev doesn’t have a lot of options available to him.
The seven footer can fight a rematch with WBA heavyweight champion David Haye, who he lost a 12 round majority decision to last November while losing his title, or he can fight Vitali Klitschko for the $1.5 million. Valuev may have to wait a little bit, though, if wants to fight Haye, because there is talk of Haye fighting former 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist Audley Harrison next.
Valuev has been out of the ring since November, and if he has to wait around for a fight against Haye, it would mean that Valuev would have to wait around until 2011 for that fight unless Valuev fought a tune-up bout with someone. As bad as Valuev looked in the Haye fight and in his fight before that against 47-year-old Evander Holyfield in December 2008, Valuev has to be really careful who he fights at this point in his career. He can’t afford to lose to anyone or else he’ll mess up a big payday against Haye or Klitschko.
You really can’t blame Valuev for not wanting to fight Vitali unless he can get the biggest payday possible, because it’s a fight that he probably won’t win and he’ll be throwing away a rematch with Haye. That’s a fight that Valuev would have a chance of winning if he can find a little power somewhere and figure out how to cut off the ring a little better. That’s probably the fight that Valuev will opt to take.