Why Is Everyone Afraid To Fight Nicolai Valuev?

21.07.04 - By Izyaslav “Slava” Koza - - It seems that Nicolai Valuev has been finding TBA’s ever since he first laced up his boxing gloves. Everyone from decent challengers to roadside roadkill has, at least on hearsay alone, promised to fight the man known as “the Beast from the east.”

Unfortunately, it seems hearsay alone won’t force even the neediest of “punching bags” to step into the ring with the Russian giant. Oh sure, boxing commentators and fans write him off in their articles with comments like “he is an ugly, unskilled freak,” or “he will be exposed,” but when it comes down to writing him off in the ring and putting his ass away in the ring, apparently all the superman David’s have apparently lost the slingshot needed to slay Goliath.

I am referring to the latest round of TBA’s to come on and off in the slot opposite Valuev’s name for a supposed July 24th match in the native Russians adopted promotion home of Germany. In the last couple of weeks, exactly 4 different opponents have entered stage left, and disappeared stage right, leaving Nicolai with no dance partners.

At the beginning of this escapade, Valuev, Steffen Nielsen, and Paolo Vidoz, 3 of the top European heavyweights at the present time, agreed to an extremely salivating showdown to determine who is the best. Among the many discussions of which of the two would be involved in 2 matches, it was concluded Valuev and Vidoz would face off, with the winner taking on Nielsen. Apparently, after not being satisfied with the purse offer, the Italian, Vidoz and his team, broke negotiations with Valuev promoter Sauerland and pursued a match with Nielsen instead. This is a move that completely baffles me seeing as Vidoz would still have to fight Valuev within 90 days of that match if he wins, but could probably now be offered even less seeing as this is a contractual obligation, and he would have no choice as well as no Nielsen to fall back on this time.

Alright, they’ve got to be a bit disappointed, but they’re used to opponents “chickening out,” Valuev’s team offered Tyson’s ex-“Punching Bag,” Kevin McBride, a crack at going to Germany and doing what everyone says is so easy, in taking Valuev down. Even Boxrec had posted this to be the case when Mcbride’s manager, Rich Kapiello, made some rather interesting remarks stating that he never even had talks about the match with the Sauerland team, and that his fighter would only get 35 grand for the bout. He also went on to say McBride would be happy to do it, but he does not have enough time to prepare (yup, I guess when you prepare for Tyson, you just expect to be Ko’d). In any case, I think we heard enough excuses to last through the winter, and then some.

After the veteran fighter, Al Cole offered up his name, but apparently withdrew it just as quickly. No excuse given as of yet. And as of today (4 days before the actual fight), Nigerian born, Spanish based, undefeated, Richard Bango, has been named as Valuev’s opponent. Now looking over this guys record, it seems he has not fought anybody of note, but at least he has looked good in doing it, and is willing to take on another undefeated fighter, which if anything, shows he is willing to put his ass on the line. Then again, remember we still have 4 days left to this fight, injuries, accidents, purse disputes, and a whole host of other unrelated issues take precedent, so lets not discount this Bango as a quitter just yet.

Look, guys the point I wanna make here is this: Everybody always says that Valuev is nothing but a freak show who will be eventually exposed, but how can he be exposed if nobody is willing to do it? I mean, look I’m not going off the deep end and calling this guy a gift from the boxing God, but how in the hell do you expect him to do anything from looking great to be KTFO, if nobody is willing to take him on?

Vlauev shows a good work ethic, and tries hard, is humble and very self critical. I like every one of those qualities, if for nothing else then for the fact that he wants to actually improve, and not ride his name out on a Krispy Kreme wagon until someone knocks him out in two.

Ask yourselves this: If Foreman, Frazier, and Liston just plain out refused to fight Ali and picked some bum on the street to pulverize instead, how great would the “Greatest” have been?

What if Mercer hadn’t put Morrison’s head on a platter, and instead chose some “shmo” type fighter to beat up on, would we really know how badly Morrison was over-hyped?

This is a plea to any decent fighter out there; Just get off your lazy ass, go over to Germany and test this guy, who if for no other reason, than hard work and effort, deserves such a test.


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Article posted on 21.07.2004

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