Name: Nikolay Valuev
Alias: The Russian Giant
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Hometown: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Height: 7′ 0″ / 213cm
Reach: 85″ / 216cm
Boxing Record: click
Manager: Wilfried Sauerland
Trainers: Oleg Shalaev (1993 - 2000), Manvel Gabrielyan (2000 - 2007), Alexander Zimin (2007 - 2009)
Nikolay Valuev was born on August 21, 1973, in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg). He is of Russian descent, but he also had a Tatar grandfather. He is a Russian Orthodox Christian. During his youth, Valuev played water polo and basketball, and was also a discus thrower. His hobbies include fishing and hunting deer, ducks, and wild boar. Valuev wooed his wife, Galya, with poetry that he composed himself. They have three children, two sons and a daughter.
Professional Boxing Career
Valuev became a professional fighter in 1993. His pro debut was a second-round knockout of American John Morton. He captured the Russian heavyweight title in 1999, the PABA title in 2000, and the WBA Inter-Continental title in 2004. Valuev propelled himself into a position to fight for a world title with victories over Bob Mirovic, Otis Tisdale, Paolo Vidoz, Gerald Nobles, Attila Levin, and Clifford Etienne.
On October 1, 2005, Valuev beat Larry Donald (42-3-3) by a controversial 12-round majority decision in a WBA title eliminator. Valuev then defeated John Ruiz (41-5-1) by a controversial 12-round majority decision on December 17, 2005 to win the WBA Heavyweight Championship. Valuev became the tallest and heaviest champion in the history of boxing. According to Valuev's website (accessible below, in Russian), he is 2.13 meters tall or 7 feet tall. According to the New Jersey Athletic Control Board, he is 2.18 meters or 7' 2" tall.
On June 3, 2006, in his first defense of the WBA Heavyweight Championship, Valuev defeated challenger Owen Beck (25-3) by a third-round technical knockout in Hannover, Germany.
On October 7, 2006, Valuev fought Monte Barrett (34-1) in Rosemont, Illinois and defeated him by a technical knockout in the 11th round. Barrett was knocked down twice in the 8th round and once in the 11th, but managed to get up. After being knocked down in the eleventh round, his trainer, James Ali Basheer, jumped into the ring to stop the fight.
On January 20, 2007, Valuev fought Jameel McCline (38-6-3) in St. Jakobshalle, Basel, Switzerland. Valuev won the match, successfully defending his title, after McCline was not able to continue after injuring his knee when throwing a punch near the end of the 3rd round.
In the tournament to determine who would next challenge Valuev for his title, Uzbekistani Ruslan Chagaev beat John Ruiz. The title defense was held on April 14, 2007. Chagaev (22-0-2) defeated Valuev by a majority decision (117-111, 115-113 and 114-114). It was Valuev's first loss after 46 straight wins. Valuev changed trainers, transitioning from Manuel Gabrielian to Alexander Zimin, who coached the old Soviet Union amateur boxing team.
In a February 16, 2008 title eliminator, Valuev defeated former WBO titleholder Sergey Lyakhovich (23-2) from Belarus by a 12-round unanimous decision, winning every round at the Nuremberg Arena in Germany. The victory earned Valuev the right to face Chagaev in a rematch for the WBA title. He was scheduled to face Chagaev for his WBA title on July 5, 2008, but Chagaev pulled out with an injury. The WBA decided to make Chagaev "Champion In Recess" and have Valuev fight John Ruiz for the vacant title. On August 30, 2008, Valuev defeated Ruiz (43-7-1) by a 12-round unanimous decision to regain the WBA heavyweight championship. The WBA then ordered Valuev and Chagaev to fight no later than June 26, 2009. Their rematch was scheduled for May 30, 2009, but Chagaev pulled out again due to a viral infection. On July 24, 2009, when the WBA published their official ratings, Chagaev was no longer the "Champion In Recess" but the #1 challenger instead.
Valuev's first title defense of his second reign as WBA Champion was against the 46-year old, four-time heavyweight champion of the world Evander Holyfield on December 20, 2008, in Switzerland. Valuev won by a controversial 12-round majority decision.
The bout was investigated by the WBA. In a statement, the WBA said: "The Championship Committee have ordered a panel of judges to review the tape of the fight between Valuev and Holyfield." On September 28, 2009, Pier Luigi Poppi, one of three judges scoring the match, appeared as a guest on the Italian radio show "La Trasmissione di Morelli" with Dario Morelli. He said: "WBA asked me to write a report about the match. I've sent it, and they said it was very good. I guess no other judges have reviewed the tape of the fight." The Ring Magazine had Valuev winning the fight 115-113.
In his second defense, Valuev lost his title on November 7, 2009 against former undisputed cruiserweight champion David Haye in Nuremberg by a majority decision (114-114, 112-116, 112-116).
| WBA Heavyweight Champion
2005 Dec 17 – 2007 Apr 14
Declared Champion in Recess
| WBA Heavyweight Champion
2008 Aug 30 – 2009 Nov 7