Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Quietman Isn't Quiet About Fighting Valuev

With the recent pull out by WBA Heavyweight Champion Ruslan Chagaev for his mandatory title defense with Nicolai Valuev, John "The Quietman" Ruiz isn't being quiet about his desire to step in and fight Nicolai Valuev. Chagaev is officially over the WBA deadline and now were seeing further delays. Here is what Ruiz had to say:

“We have to respect mandatory defenses and if Chagaev isn’t willing or able to fulfill his obligation as champion he should step aside so the WBA can move forward instead of standing still. There’s so much speculation about Chagaev. First there was Hepatitis B and now another viral infection – it must have moved from his intestines to his throat – and nobody really knows when or if he’ll be able to fight again. We will be filing a letter of petition with the WBA to strip Chagaev and order a fight between me and Valuev for the WBA title.”

“The heavyweight division drives boxing. Fans are waiting for things to explode, but it seems like the heavyweight champions are holding the title belts hostage. They’re all tied up and don’t want to fight the best heavyweights. No wonder fans criticize heavyweights. I’m ready to clean-up the division and willing to fight any of the world champs or top contenders. How long do I have to wait for my title shot?”

I think at the very least if the WBA feels that Chagaev may have health issues that may prevent the rescheduled July 5th from materializing, they should at the very least let John Ruiz, who's ranked #2 behind Valuev, fight for an interim title if Chagaev once again pulls out of that fight date. This would be a "nice" solution. Otherwise, they should just have Ruiz fight Valuev on July 5th for the title.

I'm not a huge fan of Ruiz, but he does have some wins over notable heavyweights in his past, and he has recently defeated Jameel McCline on the undercard of the WBC title fight between Sam Peter and Oleg Maskaev. More importantly he lost his title to Nicolai Valuev in a close fight, and this fight between John Ruiz and Nicolai Valuev is better than no fight or further postponements in my opinion.

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