Wladimir Klitschko Wants a Bout With Valuev
By Seth Green: IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (53-3, 47 KOs) wants a fight with World Boxing Association heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev (50-1, 34 KOs) next after defeating WBA champion in recess Ruslan Chagaev by a 9th round TKO on Saturday night in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. "Now I want to fight for the WBA belt and I promise you I will be back here again," Wladimir said after Saturday's fight with Chagaev.
Article posted on 22.06.2009
However, a bout against Valuev will be a tough one to arrange, because thus far Valuev's promotional company have seemed reluctant to match the big 7-foot Valuev against either of the Klitschko brothers. Valuev had a chance to fight Wladimir after David Haye, Wladimir's scheduled opponent for Saturday's bout, pulled out of the bout because of a back injury. Wladimir turned to Valuev as a possible replacement, but Valuev and his promotional company failed to take the fight.
It's unclear whether Valuev declined the fight because he needed more time to train for Wladimir or if he just wasn't interested in risking his title. However, if Valuev fails to meet Wladimir's challenge in the future then you can surmise that Valuev doesn't want to take the huge risk of fighting Wladimir.
It's a fight that makes a lot of sense for both fighters, particularly Valuev, who looked poor in his 12 round majority decision victory over Evander Holyfield in December. The way that Valuev looked in that fight, he appears to have only one, possibly two more fights in him as a champion if he's matched carefully. By fighting Wladimir, Valuev would likely get much more than he would by defending his title against the likes of Kali Meehan or John Ruiz.
There are many boxing fans who felt that Valuev should have lost to the 46-year-old Holyfield last time out. Holyfield looked like nothing special in the bout, but Valuev looked even worse. His hand speed, never good to begin with, appears to have slowed even further in the past year.
Valuev may find himself better off if he takes the fight with Klitschko rather than taking the small money and likely getting beaten by one of his challengers. At this point, anyone in the top 15 is a real threat to beating Valuev. A fight between Wladimir and Valuev would in all likelihood end up as a huge mismatch with Wladimir winning by early knockout, but itís a fight that would still interest a lot of boxing fans while at the same time give Wladimir what he wants, which is the WBA heavyweight title.
Valuev needs the fight because he appears to be at the end of his rope and hasnít had a huge career defining fight. This may be his last chance before a lesser fighter beats him and takes his title from him. I still think itís a long shot that Valuev will go for a fight with Wladimir, because he probably thinks he can continue to squeeze out decisions against the weak opposition in the WBA.
I think Valuev will be making a huge mistake if he doesnít take a fight with Wladimir or Vitali, because heís ready to be knocked off by even the weakest opponent in the WBA top 15. He might as well take the money.
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