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Why Did Russia’s Nikolai Valuev & the Klitschko’s of Ukraine Never Fight?

Image: Why Did Russia’s Nikolai Valuev & the Klitschko’s of Ukraine Never Fight?

By Ken Hissner: Why did the WBA World heavyweight champion Nikolai “The Russian Giant” Valuev, who held the WBA title from December of 2005 until April of 2007 and again August of 2008 until November of 2009, never face the Klitschko brothers?

Vitali “Dr. Iron Fist” Klitschko, 6:07” held the WBO heavyweight title from June 1999 until April 2000 and the WBC titles from April 2004 until November 2005 and October 2008 until December 2013.

Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko, 6:06” held the WBO heavyweight title from October 2000 until March 2003 and February 2008 until November 2015. He held the IBF and IBO heavyweight titles from April 2006 until November 2015. He held the WBA Super World title from July 2011 until November 2015.

Valuev, at 7:02” from St Petersburg, Russia, was 50-2 with 34 stoppages. In November of 2005, he won a majority decision over WBA champion John “The Quiet Man” Ruiz, 41-5-1, at Berlin, Germany, for the title.

Valuev made three winning title defenses, with the first stopping Owen “What the Heck” Beck, 25-2, in 3 rounds at Hannover, Germany, in June 2006. In October, he stopped Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett, 31-4, in the eleventh round in Rosemont, Illinois. In January 2007, he stopped Jameel “Big Time” McCline, 38-6-3, who couldn’t come out for the fourth round due to a knee injury at Basel, Switzerland. In April, he lost to Ruslan “White Tyson” Chagaev, 22-0-1, by majority decision at Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany.

After two winning defenses, Chagaev lost to IBF & WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko in June of 2009 at Nordrhein, Germany, though his WBA title was not on the line and would later be stripped of the title.

After Valuev lost to Chagaev, he defeated Canada’s Jean Francois Bergeron, 27-0, for the NABA title in Germany and former WBO champion Siarhei “White Wolf” Liakhovich, 23-2, in Germany, in a WBA title eliminator. Then once again, for the vacant WBA title defeat Ruiz, 43-7-1, in August of 2008 in Germany.

In December of 2008, Valuev won a disputed decision to Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, 42-9-2, by majority decision in Zurich, Switzerland. In his next fight in November of 2009, he lost to David “Hayemaker” Haye, 22-1, by majority decision in Germany. He would retire, this being his last fight. Two winning defenses after this, Haye lost to Wladimir Klitschko in July of 2011. If Valuev had beaten Haye, would he eventually have met Klitschko? Klitschko ended with a record of 64-5 with 53 stoppages.

Image: Why Did Russia’s Nikolai Valuev & the Klitschko’s of Ukraine Never Fight?

Vitali Klitschko won the WBO title, knocking out Herbie “Dancing Destroyer” Hide, 31-1, in June of 1999 in London, UK. After two winning defenses lost to Chris “Rapid Fire” Byrd, 30-1, after nine rounds due to a shoulder injury, in April of 2000, though well ahead in the fight. In October, Wladimir defeated Byrd. Vitali won his next five contests and got a title shot against WBC champ Lennox “The Lion” Lewis, 40-2-1, stopped on a cut in six rounds though ahead on all scorecards. Lewis retired after this bout.

In April of 2004, Vitali won the vacant WBC title stopping Corrie “The Sniper” Sanders, 39-2, in L.A., California. He made eleven winning title defenses, with the last in September of 2012 stopping Mahmoud “Diamond Boy” Charr, 21-0, in Moscow, Russia. His final record was 45-2 with 41 stoppages.

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