Exclusive: Nikolai Valuev talks David Haye return, holds no regrets
Former world heavyweight champion and giant of the ring, Nikolai Valuev is not exactly caught up in the excitement surrounding the imminent return of ex-opponent David Haye.
The 7ft brute, who retired in 2009 on the back of a shock majority loss to Haye in Nuremburg, gave his opinion to WBN regarding the Londoner’s January 16 comeback as the ‘Hayemaker’ ends more than three years exile against Mark de Mori.
“I’m not sure that I can have a specific opinion on the return of David Haye at the moment. Something more certain can be said after Haye has a few fights,” Valuev exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Haye has the possibility to get back to his former level as his age still allows it, but I haven’t followed his opponent Mark de Mori so I can’t say anything about his chances of beating him.”
Asked whether he wishes he’d fought a different fight himself against Haye when surrendering his WBA ‘regular’ title to the one-time cruiserweight king, the Russian was rather philosophical in his response.
“I don’t have any regrets about the fight with Haye as it’s been left for a long time by now and everything is in the past,” said Valuev, who finished off by giving his opinion on the current best heavyweight in the world.
“I think it’s hard to name the one best fighter right now, but I think we’ll be able to determine that by the result of the upcoming fight between Alexander Povetkin and Deontay Wilder,” he said.
Undefeated Wilder, the WBC champ, is lined up to defend against Polish puncher Artur Szpilka on January 16 in New York before a mandated clash with Olympic gold medalist Povetkin is due to take place over the summer.
Haye will hope to be in place to challenge the winner at the back end of 2016.
Tickets for David Haye v Mark de Mori on January 16 at the O2 Arena in London are available here from axs.com