Chagaev vs Valuev: War of Words Between Team Sauerland And Universum Box Promotion

It was with great surprise that Team Sauerland heard about Universum´s press release regarding the fight between WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev and “champion in recess” Ruslan Chagaev. “Klaus-Peter Kohl´s remarks are untrue,” Sauerland Event General Manager Chris Meyer said. “While requesting so many special permits from the WBA, he must have lost his sense for reality. Universum are responsible for the heavyweight chaos. The WBA´s order was clear: Once Chagaev is fit again, he has to fight Valuev. However, Universum decided to take on Drumond instead. The fight was a farce. Drumond could have never become the official world champion because Valuev is the official champion!.

In 2008, then-champ Chagaev had twice pulled out of fights against Valuev on short notice. He first cancelled the bout scheduled for May 31 before skipping a showdown arranged for July 5. Universum were lucky that the WBA did not strip Chagaev of his title. Instead, the title was vacated and Chagaev was made “champion in recess” with the order to fight the WBA-champion on his return to the ring. Valuev went on to defeat John Ruiz in Berlin to clinch the vacant title. He has been the official WBA heavyweight champion ever since. “A look into the official ratings confirms that,” Meyer said. “After February 7 (the date of the Chagaev-Drumond fight) the WBA still lists Valuev as the champion and Chagaev as “champion in recess”. Nikolai has always been ready to fight Chagaev at any time, but Chagaev has kept him waiting again. So Nikolai had to look for a different opponent. Nevertheless, we are still eager to make this fight happen as soon as possible.”

To finally end the confusion, Valuev has submitted a formal request to the WBA in which he offers to skip a voluntary defense and fight Chagaev as soon as possible. “We asked the WBA for clearance to start the negotiations with Universum immediately,” Meyer said. “If no agreement can be reached by the end of March, there should be a purse bid. The fight should be staged by the end of June. This solution is really in the best interest of everybody involved. Furthermore, Nikolai is eager to avenge the only loss of his career.”

The biggest and tallest champion of all time has already started his preparation for the Chagaev fight. Together with coach Alexander Zimin, he is working out in his home city of St. Petersburg. Later this week, he will fly to Japan for a special training camp. “I want to fight Chagaev as soon as possible,” Valuev said. “We still have something to settle. And all the confusion with champion and “champion in recess” has to finally come to an end.”

Chagaev-Valuev: Official statement by Klaus-Peter Kohl

„Now I am glad that Nikolai Valuev and his team have come to their senses. Their actions have only caused confusion.“

Universum-Promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl is happy that heavyweight Nikolai Valuev wants a rematch against WBA champion (in recess) Ruslan Chagaev. Sauerland-Boxer Valuev, who won the title after Chagaev was idled by an ankle injury, said in an official statement yesterday: “Enough is enough. All this confusion has to end.”

When will Chagaev-Valuev II take place?

Klaus-Peter Kohl: “That is up to the WBA. Last fall at the WBA Convention, we heard that the fight must take place by Summer 2009. Because Wilfried Sauerland and Valuev then requested and got approved a voluntary title defense against Evander Holyfield, the whole mess emerged that there were two WBA world champions at the same time. And this was despite the fact that we presented medical documents that Ruslan was fit at the start of the year and can fight again after his serious Achilles’ tendon injury.“

What is the new September deadline now?

Klaus-Peter Kohl: “Nikolai Valuev should have been named as only an interim champion. For us, he is no more than that. He clearly lost to Ruslan and will do so again. The Sauerland Team wanted in some incomprehensible way yet a second voluntary defense and the WBA gave us September 2009 as the deadline for the rematch. Now I am glad that Nikolai Valuev and his team have come to their senses. Their actions have only caused confusion. The boxing fans don’t understand it anymore. But it will soon be clear that Ruslan is the only true WBA heavyweight champion.”

Article posted on 09.03.2009

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