01
Mar
2021

EXCLUSIVE: 7ft former heavyweight champion rules out exhibition comeback

Phil Jay 18/02/2021
Nikolai Valuev Heavyweight

Former world heavyweight champion of the world Nikolai Valuev has ruled out returning to the ring for an exhibition at 47.

Valuev ruled twice in the top division through a stellar career against the odds for a seven-footer.

The Russian fought through the pain barrier to enjoy a ring stint lasting sixteen years, beginning in 1993.

As a new trend of 1990s heavyweights making comebacks continues to develop, Valuev was asked his opinion by WBN.

Following the likes of Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr., and Evander Holyfield campaigning again in their 50s, Valuev is not opposed to others plying their trade in their twilight years.

He exclusively told World Boxing News: “We have to take into account the fact that these are very well-trained professional boxers.

“They have already begun to age but are still fighting. We can say that this is a short but, in all respects, an interestingly epic story.

“The main thing is that it adds variety and intrigue to boxing for the fans.”

Asked if he’d consider dusting off his gloves, Valuev responded: “I have never announced my return to the ring, even for exhibition fights.

“I do not consider this possibility in the future.”

David Haye Nikolai Valuev
Boxen

HEAVYWEIGHT BELTS

Previously, Valuev spoke to WBN regarding the current situation of too many belts in the sport.

His response was firm but fair.

“No sanctioning body will move to reduce the number of belts,” Valuev pointed out. “It is pointless to do this.

“World boxing will lose money and event opportunities on this.

“The existing number of titles is a consequence of the natural course of history. For example, in mixed martial arts, there are also a large number of belts.”


NIKOLAI VALUEV RETIREMENT

Retiring after fighting David Haye in 2009, Valuev got out of boxing at the right time for him. It was becoming increasingly difficult for the big man to maneuver opponents.

Haye catching him flush towards the end of the contest proved to be the final significant blow landed on Valuev. He stepped away at the age of 36.

In terms of today, Valuev was relatively young. But his final chapter has now been written.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay.