Valuev out to break record

16.01.07 - Nikolai Valuev (45-0, 33 KOs) has firmly set his sights on Rocky Marciano´s incredible record of 49 straight wins as he prepares to tackle Jameel McCline on Saturday. "I definitely want to break his record," the undefeated WBA champion vowed at today´s press conference in Basle. "If there´s the chance to get your name in the history books with such a great record, it is of course my aim to accomplish it. But that does not mean I will fight weak opponents." The Russian Giant confirmed he would welcome a date with IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko. "If Klitschko wants to fight me before I have broken the record, I´ll be ready at any time," he stated.

Against McCline, the tallest (7ft) and biggest (330 pounds) champion of all time is looking to chalk up win number 46. "I know it won´t come easy," Valuev added.

Meanwhile, his 36-year-old opponent insisted he was in the "best shape ever". "I have trained harder than ever before", said McCline. "The training camp in Florida was very exhausting. I have come to Basle to win the title. I am full of respect for Nikolai but he is slow and mechanical. My explosiveness and my speed will give me the edge. I will be the first one to beat him."

With almost 600 pounds in the ring, Saturday´s clash will be the heaviest bout of all time. "This fight will fascinate the boxing fans," manager Wilfried Sauerland said. "We´re thrilled by the tremendous interest." The battle of the giants will be televised in 63 countries.

Valuev, who also wished Muhammad Ali a happy 65th birthday, stated he received a warm welcome from the Swiss fans. "Basle is a great city and the conditions are superb. Everything has been great thus far."

Article posted on 17.01.2007

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