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Nikolai Sergeyevich Valuev born 21 August 1973) is a retired Russian professional boxer and former two-time WBA heavyweight champion. In his last fight (on 7 November 2009), he lost the title to David Haye as a result of a 12-round majority decision. Three days after the fight, Valuev announced his retirement.



  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Boxing career
    • 2.1 First reign as WBA champion
    • 2.2 Loss of WBA title to Chagaev
    • 2.3 Second reign as WBA champion
    • 2.4 Loss of WBA title to Haye
    • 2.5 Health problems
  • 3 Retirement
  • 4 Acting career
  • 5 Outside the ring
  • 6 Involvement in other sports
  • 7 Nikolai Valuev Boxing School
  • 8 Valuev Youth Sports Foundation
  • 9 Advertising and business
  • 10 Filmography
  • 11 Professional boxing record
  • 12 References
  • 13 External links


Valuev was born on 21 August 1973, in Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (now Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). He also had a Tatar grandfather.[1][2][3]


He has three young children, daughter Irina and son Grisha (Grigoriy), his third child, son Sergei, was born on July 30th, 2012. In his professional boxing career Valuev has been defeated only twice by Ruslan Chagaev and David Haye.


Valuev is a Russian Orthodox Christian.[4] During his youth he played water polo and basketball.


Boxing career

First reign as WBA champion

In 2005, Valuev squared off with WBA heavyweight champion John Ruiz, and won a twelve-round majority-decision, becoming both the tallest (7' or 2.1 m) and heaviest (323lbs) champion in boxing history.[5] In his first defence he defeated challenger Owen Beck (25–3, 18 KOs) by a third-round technical knockout in Hannover, Germany. In October 2006, Valuev fought Monte Barrett and defeated him with a technical knockout in the 11th round. In January 2007, Valuev fought Jameel McCline (38–6–3, 23 KOs) in St. Jakobshalle, Basel, Switzerland. Valuev won the match, successfully defending his title, after McCline was not able to continue the bout after injuring his knee when throwing a punch near the end of the 3rd round.


Loss of WBA title to Chagaev

The title defense was held on 14 April 2007. Chagaev defeated Valuev by a majority decision (117–111, 115–113 and 114–114).

Valuev changed trainers, from Manuel Gabrielian to Alexander Zimin, who coached the old Soviet Union amateur boxing team.

On September 29, 2007, Valuev won against Jean-Francois Bergeron in Oldenburg, Germany, by a 12-round unanimous decision (118–111 on all three cards).[6]


Second reign as WBA champion

In a 16 February 2008, title eliminator, Valuev defeated former titleholder Sergei Liakhovich from Belarus, winning every round at the Nuremberg Arena in Germany.[7] The victory earned Valuev the right to face Chagaev for the WBA title again, the only man who had defeated him in his boxing career. He was scheduled to face Chagaev for his WBA title on 5 July 2008, but Chagaev pulled out with an injury. Valuev instead fought John Ruiz for the vacant title on 30 August 2008 and the WBA decided to make Chagaev "Champion In Recess". Valuev defeated Ruiz by unanimous decision to regain the WBA heavyweight championship, with Valuev and Chagaev set to fight no later than 26 June 2009 to determine whom the WBA regarded as their champion.[8] Their scheduled rematch on May 30, 2009 was cancelled due to Chagaev's viral infection and on 24 July 2009, when the WBA published their Official Ratings as of June 2009, Chagaev was no longer the "Champion In Recess" but the #1 challenger instead.


Valuev's first title defence of his second reign as WBA Champion was against the 46-year old, four-time heavyweight champion of the world, Evander Holyfield, on 20 December 2008, in which Valuev won a controversial majority decision. Before the match, Valuev weighed 310.8 pounds (141 kg), nearly 100 pounds heavier than Holyfield at 214.3 pounds (97 kg).[9]


Loss of WBA title to Haye

In his second defence, Valuev lost his title on 7 November 2009 against former unified and lineal cruiserweight champion David Haye in Nuremberg on points (114–114, 116–112, 116–112).[10]


Health problems

In 2010, Valuev's doctor went on record saying that he is treating Valuev for 'serious bone and joint problems'.[11] Valuev will undergo two operations that will require at least six months on the sidelines.



Valuev announced his retirement in a Russian newspaper three days after the loss to Haye on 10 November 2009.

Acting career

Valuev's first role in a movie was a cameo appearance in the German film 7 Zwerge – Der Wald ist nicht genug in 2006.[12] In 2008 Valuev played the main role in the film Stonehead by Philip Yankovskiy, playing an ex-boxer who lost his memory.[13] The film took the main prize at the movie festival "Window to Europe".[14] After the success of Stonehead, it was announced Valuev is being filmed in two new films at the same time.[15]


Outside the ring

In January 2006 Valuev was accused of assaulting a security guard at the Spartak Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. No criminal investigation was ever launched by local police.[16][17]


Valuev has written a book in Russian called My 12 Rounds, with the help of prominent Russian journalist Konstantin Osipov. The book discusses his life in general and his boxing career in particular. For that book, Valuev received an award from the government of Saint Petersburg.[18]


In December 2011 Russian parliamentary election he became a member of Duma through the United Russia party. On December 17 2012, Valuev supported[19] the law in the Russian Parliament banning adoption of Russian orphans by citizens of the US.


Involvement in other sports

In 2011, Valuev became the General Manager of Russia national bandy team and he also has as a task to develop the so-called Russian hockey in the country.[20][21] He is also the Vice-President of the All Russian bandy federation[2]. Bandy is considered a national sport in Russia.[22]


Nikolai Valuev Boxing School

In 2009, Nikolai Valuev, together with a group of coaches, created "Nikolay Valuev Boxing School" with offices in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Oblast. The school is based on three types of age groups: pupils (school terms 3-5), students (terms 6-8) and adults. School students participate and compete in various boxing matches, including the "Valuev Cup" youth boxing tournament, which became a regular competition in St. Petersburg.[23]


Valuev Youth Sports Foundation

The Valuev Foundation was opened on September 13, 2010. The fund was established to promote regular physical exercise among young people to enable children of different social backgrounds play sports, to further their education and strengthen the principles of sport, as well as spread the ideals of sports into other areas.


Advertising and business

On 5 February 2007, Nikolai Valuev's book "My 12 rounds" was introduced in St. Petersburg. The book was written by the WBA world heavyweight champion in cooperation with the famous sports journalist Konstantin Osipov.[24]


Nikolai Valuev has participated in several photo and video advertisements of various products and services. In November 2009 the athlete has signed a promotional contract with German sausage manufacturer, making Valuev the face of the company's advertisement campaign for five years. Nikolai Valuev is also planning to open a family restaurant in Germany. In August 2010, Valuev signed a promotional contract with Pokerstars poker portal, which is going to achieve professional success in this game.[citation needed]


Valuev's distinctive appearance and fame have occasionally attracted the use of his images in advertising without his permission. In particular, the Penza theater "Contemporary" for some time before the movie showing the film, where Nikolai Valuev acts as a man who punishes the audience disturbing others. Nikolai Valuev, upon learning about this, sued the theater for damages amounting to 2 million rubles. In 2011, Nikolai Valuev is involved in the advertising power of "Interskol" as well as in advertising MTS.[citation needed]

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