It may seem condescending or ungracious to suggest Nicolay Valuev is a hard fighter to ignore, or perhaps overlook. At 7ft and over 300lbs the Russian is a man of almost mythical proportions but even though his contest with America’s John Ruiz is very unlikely to induce high-blood pressure moments, I will find the broadcast impossible to ignore.
Valuev is accustomed to the attention his stature brings him but it is the respect of fans this humble giant really craves. He had begun to win a convert or two as he approached the Ruslan Chagaev fight last year and his ledger approached the famous landmark of 49-0. Just like predecessor Larry Holmes, who came preciously close to surpassing the great Rocky Marciano’s record before losing contentiously to Michael Spinks, Valuev fell just short.
Ruiz meanwhile, as documented previously in an article entitled ‘John Ruiz and loving the wrong man’, is one of my favourite fighters. I just admire the American’s grit and willingness to fight the big Russian. He’s far from pretty to watch but he’s also game and has never ducked an opponent.
Equally interesting will be watching the presentation offered by Nuts TV who will be showing the event in the UK. As British readers will know Nuts TV is the digital extension of the ‘lads’ magazine title and the Valuev bill will add weight to their existing commitment to show classic bouts from the 80’s and 90’s. As the ripples of the latest merry-go-round of promoters and TV channels draws to a close; Warren back to SKY, Maloney on SKY, Hayemaker on Setanta and Hennessy onto ITV, the addition of a new outlet for boxing, and one willing to showcase fighters from beyond the usual boundaries is very welcome.
It will make a pleasant change if the studio is anchored by one of their centre-folds. Buncey maybe many things, but eye-candy is he isn’t.
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