The Reuters global sports blog
Roll-up, roll-up to see a seven foot Russian bruiser, the heaviest boxing champion of all time, fight an Uzbekistan man a foot shorter and nearly 100lbs lighter in the boxing Mecca of Helsinki. Who says boxing’s blue-ribband event is losing credibility?
On Saturday night in Finland Nikolai Valuev, “the beast from the East”, the WBA heavyweight champion of the world, takes on the only man ever to have beaten him, Ruslan Chagaev. Chagaev is the WBA’s champion in recess (don’t ask, I’m just as confused, but this may shed some light) and this fight will decide who the true title holder is.
Their first fight was a points victory for the Uzbeki in Germany, and it was well deserved. Chagaev outworked and outmanoeuvred his sluggish opponent.
A rematch was drawn up immediately but Chagaev suffered a number of injuries so Valuev took on a series of opponents, headlined by a 46-year-old American who had lost four of his previous eight contests. OK, that was Evander Holyfield, but even so…
Some time over the next couple of days you can expect to see more quotes doing the rounds from retired light-heavyweight supremo Joe Calzaghe declaring that his retirement is not about to be reversed. That being the case, is there any reason for the light-heavyweight division not just to close?
American light-heavyweights Chad Dawson and Antonio Tarver clashed for a second time on Saturday in Las Vegas, not because their first encounter was that enthralling, controversial or close but simply because there were no opponents at 175lbs for Dawson to fight.
After his devastating second-round knockout victory over Ricky Hatton it appears there are no limits to Filipino Manny Pacquiao’s ability… It’s just a shame he can’t continue his jolly stroll through the weight classes and breathe some life into the heavyweight division.
The power and strength he brought from flyweight through to light-welterweight was nothing short of phenomenal. Preposterous idea though it is, who says he couldn’t beat the slothful Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko?