News: Valuev-Chagaev in Finland; Amir Khan on fast track to title

23.04.09 - Helsinki´s Hartwall-Arena will host the first-ever heavyweight title fight on Finnish soil when WBA champion Nikolai Valuev takes on Ruslan Chagaev in an eagerly anticipated rematch on May 30. The Russian Giant (50-1, 34 KOs) is determined to avenge the only loss of his career. “The day has come to settle the score,” Valuev said..

“I have been waiting for two years to make amends. Only a victory over Chagaev can put my mind at rest.”

To this day, Chagaev is the only person ever to have beaten the Russian Giant, who has won all of his four fights since their meeting in April 2007. “I know everything there is to know about Chagaev,” Valuev said.

“This is the fourth time I am actually preparing for a fight with him.” Last summer, Chagaev twice pulled out of scheduled rematches due to injury problems, which prompted the WBA to vacate the title. Valuev defeated John Ruiz in August to become the new WBA heavyweight champion, while Chagaev has been listed as “champion in recess” ever since. “Now is the time to end all this confusion,” Valuev said. “There will only be one WBA heavyweight champion after May 30 – and that will be me.”

The local promoter of the event will be Tailor Events in cooperation with Live Nation and Pekka Maki´s P3 Boxing. Ticket sales will start on May 4 through Eventim.

Khan on fast track to title

Amir Khan admits that taking on Andriy Kotelnik was his quickest and easiest route to a world title. Khan will fight Kotelnik for the WBA light-welterweight belt at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday 27 June.

Khan told the Steve Bunce Boxing Hour on Setanta Sports News that he was carefully picking his opponents.

He said: “I wouldn’t fight someone like [Juan Manuel] Marquez at this moment in time because he’s at his peak and I haven’t hit my peak yet. I want to have a few more fights before I fight someone like him.

“Kotelnik’s not the best of the world champions, but it’s an easier route to a world title. I don’t want to have to wait a year for a title shot.

“I’m going to beat Kotelnik and I’m going to beat him convincingly. It’s not just about winning the fight, it’s about winning in a good style and a good fashion, proving to people that I beat him clearly.”

Bolton-born Khan also revealed he has designs on becoming a two weight world champion.

He added: “If I win the title, then I’d like to defend it a couple of times and then move back down to lightweight for one fight and then come back up. It’s good; I could be a two weight world champion in the matter of a year, a year and a half.”

Article posted on 23.04.2009

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