Is Valuev Doing The Right Thing by Fighting Beck?

11.02.06 - By Izyaslav “Slava” Koza: Last we heard the new WBA champ Nikolai Valuev is rumored to grapple with Owen “who the heck?” Beck on April 1st in Germany. What can be said about this but that it is really a huge disappointment for most boxing fans. To me, it is really disappointing in a different sense, in that I had expected big Valuev to exceed our expectations and not fight the mandatory fighter, as it seemed obvious he was going to do based on the fact that he now owes him something like half of his purse for the next few fights.

I love it when fighters surprise us by not taking that voluntary defense against guys we don’t care about, but Valuev’s management has opted to follow old boxing traditions. It's hard for me to attack the decision in a sense because if they feel they are not ready for a big fight this soon after the last big one, in which most agreed that at the very least the big Russian did not look good, then they will not jeopardize the hold on the belt. It's common logic but again as a common fan it’s a shame, because Owen Beck, while possessing some skills, has been beaten both times he stepped up, and his wins are against a “who is who?” of fighters.

Personally, I would have preferred he fight one of the elites but most of them besides Brewster are occupied. There are some other worthy guys, like Shannon Briggs, who has been quite noisy as of late, but I think the risk/reward factor is just not there. If they lose the belt King can’t really make as much, and if they win its like, so he beat Briggs, big deal. I would have liked to see Austin to get the shot, since he actually beat Beck recently.

Other then that, I just hope they take the fight seriously. Beck is sloppy, but he does carry a decent punch, and thinking too far ahead will give Beck a bigger chance than he should have if Valuev and his team do their homework and come prepared to fight tooth and nail for the belt. He won it on hard work and effort and that is how he should defend it if he wants to keep it.

Finally, in regards to the inside the ring matters, we should remember the fight is not set in stone quite yet so there is a chance we could be pleasantly surprised or terribly disappointed. The only good thing is the new champ is fighting relatively soon after the last fight, and that could mean he will be fighting often which is a benefit in a sense compared to most other top heavies. One possibility is the winner of Skelton vs. Williams, which is a good fight in its own right and the winner will be a worthy opponent, since Harrison has been eliminated from representing Britain as it's best fighter. Perhaps Brewster is around the corner as well, which, of course, goes without saying as being welcome by fans. All in all, since it is Valuev's first defense, I can choke back the dissapointment. Also, since I am a Valuev fan, it's kinda easier for me to do so.

Article posted on 12.02.2006

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