Boxing


Nikolai Valuev: Is He The Real Deal?

19.09.06 - By Dave Domenico: On October 7, boxing fans will get to see the coming out party for the seven foot Russian giant Nikolai Valuev. Individuals with his stature and image have been a collective part of the entertainment industry. Movies and professional wrestling have had their share of giant entertainers over the years. Boxing, on the other hand, was never a venue for large men. In today’s world, the average heavyweight stands well over six feet tall and weighs an average of 240lbs. That is certainly considered a “big” heavyweight for today’s standards. When compared to these averages, Valuev is far above the norm. The only other man like him in heavyweight history was Primo Carnera. In case you don’t already know, Carnera was heavyweight champion in the late 1930’s. He was a huge specimen at 6’ 6’’, 260 lbs and towered over the fighters of that time. Unfortunately, Carnera ultimately lacked the overall skill to compete with the smaller and faster heavyweights of the era.

Today, Valuev finds himself in a similar role. A giant man in a very big era for heavyweight champions. Valuev gained the boxing world’s attention when he won the WBA heavyweight title. He scored a controversial decision victory over John Ruiz. Many people who saw the fight felt that Ruiz won a close decision but was robbed. Perhaps it was viewed that Valuev would prove to be a more marketable champion than the ever-unpopular Ruiz. I don’t know, just my opinion. A few months ago, Valuev made his first title defense by knocking out fringe contender Owen Beck in just three rounds. That brings us up to date.

In just a few short weeks, Valuev will make his first title defense in the U.S. against American fringe contender Monte Barrett. Barrett’s last fight was decision loss against former WBC champion Hasim Rahman. It is fairly obvious that Barrett is a intended to be handpicked opponent to show case Valuev as the next boxing attraction. Valuev is a giant, and that alone makes him a spectacle in boxing. No question about that.

The question is can he fight. Is he the real deal or another hyped up stiff? His fight against Barrett will be shown live on HBO. That is a good thing because it gives the average fight fan a chance to see him in action. He is certainly not PPV material yet. Few fighters are these days. But at least on October 7, boxing fans will get some indication as to whether Valuev is for real or not. I wish him success. However, if he falls short, the WWE is always looking for new talent.

Article posted on 20.09.2006



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