Is this a new Valuev?
25.07.04 - This was the question some 3m German viewers asked themselves last night (ARD TV) while watching the Interim WBA International Heavyweight Title between Russian Champion NIKOLAI VALUEV v. unbeaten and former amateur star RICHARD BANGO (16-0-0 / 12 KOs).
Article posted on 25.07.2004
Valuev (7'4" - 2.18 m.) under his recent new management (Sauerland Events) has a new training camp and it seems we are starting to see some changes. He is becoming much faster and fitted. His opponent from last night was not just another "journeyman".. it was unbeaten RICHARD BANGO, Nigerian born and based in Barcelona. He was former Olympic finalist in 1992 and among his "all 16 wins" record he has fought in places like London, Las vegas, New York, Canada, Portugal, Madrid ... and never was defeated even by points... but last night Bango tasted the fury from the "east" and referee John Coyle had to stop the contest in the 6th round (1:50 min.)).
When Bango suffered a tremendous knockdown and could not continue after the mandatory count of 8 (TKO). Valuev, a fighter who is rated # 11 in the World Ratings (WBA) wants to prove he deserves to stay and raise among them. That's is why he said after the fight "... I am ready and willing to face the winner between Dane Champion Steffen Nielsen v. Italian Champion Paolo Vidoz and to be proclaimed the best heavyweight in Europe."
Doubtless it will not be an easy task to beat any of these two experienced Heavyweight contenders, scheduled to face each other on mid September in Denmark (Team Palle promoting) but at least something is for sure ... Heavyweight division is moving up in Europe.
The EBA neutral officials appointed for this Championship were; Referee: John Coyle (England), Judges: Torben Seemann (Denmark), Jose Martinez (Spain), Pawel Kardyni (Poland)
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