Feature Story

Q&A: Nikolai Valuev!

Photo: Sauerland Event
Photo: Sauerland Event

By Alexey Potapov

WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev has given an exclusive interview to Fightnews.com in which he speaks about his upcoming fight against former WBC/WBA/WBO cruiserweight champion David Haye on November 7th in Germany. It had been previously announced that Haye would fight against WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko on September 12, but the British hope then decided to challenge for Valuev’s title instead.

Hello, Niko! I am glad to see you again!

Hi, Alex! Fightnews.com best regards!

Niko, news about your fight with Haye has left many shocked. How quickly did you make a decision to take this fight?

Negotiations were conducted very quickly. It didn’t take long for me to think about and agree to this fight. I am sure that I’m better than him.

You knew that Haye would pull out of the fight with Vitali Klitschko?

Yes, I knew about it, but Vitali has not followed through on his promises. Several months ago Vitali and I spoke by phone and agreed to have a fight between us. Then Vitali stopped speaking to me. I communicated this to my promoter and they informed me that Klitschko doesn’t wish to fight me. What should I do after that? Wait? But by the time of this fight I’ll have not fought for nearly a year. A strong contender is necessary for me. I have chosen Haye. Unlike Team Klitschko, we have quickly come to an agreement with him.

Now having selected Vitali’s planned opponent, do you think this could cost you a fight against the Klitschkos?

If the Klitschko brothers wish to claim all the titles, they should fight me.

Haye hasn’t always proved to be a gentleman. You know about his t-shirt depicting the chopped-off heads of the Klitschko brothers. Are you ready for such treatment?

I think that will only make it worse for Haye! He will not distract me from my psychological balance. I have immunity to such things. And if he does manage to provoke me, he will be held responsible in the ring!

Why have you have chosen Haye? He’s not the official challenger on your title.

It’s my voluntary defense and I can fight with whomever I want.

The WBA’s mandatory challenger John Ruiz is protesting the fight and demanding through his lawyers that the WBA not authorize a fight between you and Haye.

Who is John Ruiz? To me it’s scandalous that he lives all his life in court in front of a judge. I’ve already beat him two times. I’m much stronger than him. He is not interesting to me as a challenger!

What about the fact that Haye has had only one fight in the division since officially moving to heavyweight?

He was the world champion at cruiserweight. He is very fast and dangerous, but I know that I’ll win. I’ll look at his fights, I’ll study him. I know he likes to talk for long amounts of time, but I will make the fight short.

Haye has stated that he refused the fight against Klitschko because of a bad contract. What conditions did Haye demand?

I don’t know. Ask my promoter. But I think it wasn’t the money. I know that Klitschko offered bad conditions for Haye. I even looked at the contract. These conditions were awful! The Klitschko brothers think only of their own benefit when make contracts for their opponents.

When you will begin preparation for fight?

For two weeks I’ve been preparing for the fight. Now I’m preparing in Russia, then I’ll have my main camp in Germany.

Are you afraid that Haye will pull out of the fight as he did with the Klitschko brothers?

No. After dealing with Ruslan Chagaev, now I’m not afraid of anything.

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