Until this past weekend, Nicolay Valuev was recognized as the WBA title holder at heavyweight and was subject to much debate as to his relative abilities. Most fans accepted the fact that his boxing skills were somewhat ordinary, but some felt that his gigantic size advantage over all opponents made him virtually unbeatable by an ordinary sized heavyweight. On the other hand, many felt he would be chopped down by the first top rated contender he faced. The issue of beating Rocky Marciano's record of 49 consecutive wins was a hot topic as well. Would it count if Valuev passed the 50 mark in wins considering that one no decision?
Now the debates are over, however, thanks to Ruslan Chagaev's 12-round decision victory over Valuev on Saturday we now know that an ordinary sized heavyweight can indeed defeat Big Valuev and Rocky's record is safe for a few more years. So what happens now? Is Valuev finished? I don't think so.
First of all, Nicolay may have been defeated by Chagaev but he was certainly not badly beaten. Physically speaking, Valuev should be the same fighter today. He is still about 7 feet tall, still weighs the same 325 or so pounds, and is still as strong as an ox. He still has a good jab and a very good chin as well and pretty good stamina to go with it. These are the same attributes that took him to the WBA title in the first place. The only things he has lost are his reputation of being perhaps unbeatable by mid sized heavyweights and maybe some of his confidence, eastsideboxing.com reports.
Valuev will turn 34 this summer, which nowadays, isn't that old. Since he has only had a proper trainer since moving to Germany three years ago, we might expect that he could still conceivably improve his boxing skills, with the heavyweight division wide open and rather weak, there is no reason why Valuev cannot be a factor. Will he regain a title? Probably not but I would not rule it out. What then are the possibilities for the big guy?
Nikolai Valuev says he plans to arrange his next fight this autumn. The fight is supposed to take place in October and the main price is going to be the WBA title.
On his official web site Valuev says that his “defeat made the whole situation even more interesting. It’s not an easy job to stay always on top. Defeats usually make me more angry and mobilized. I attacked too much during that fight. And that tactics played a very bad joke on me. Ruslan didn’t start attacking either. After the 7-th round I felt quite tired so I couldn’t react fast enough”.
Nowadays the ex-champion is going to stay in Berlin to have a rest and to cure his arm. Then he plans to spend time with his family.
Nikolai Valuev also noted that he had never thought the fight with Wladimir Klitschko could be arranged soon. “Wladimir Klitschko was not going to fight with me. It was clear from the very beginning”.
Russian promoters believe that it is too early for Valuev to finish his boxing career. They say that they feel very disappointed about Valuev’s defeat of course, but they are sure that Valuev will be able to regain the champion title.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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