Holyfield: Size doesn’t matter
Nikolai Valuev and Evander Holyfield both voiced their respect for each other during yesterday´s media tour. One month before their eagerly-anticipated showdown in Switzerland, the WBA heavyweight champion and his legendary challenger held joint press conferences in Zurich and Berlin. “Evander, I want to thank you for getting into the ring with me. It will be an honour to fight you,” Valuev stated. “You are a great champion and I have always had a lot of respect for you. But I am convinced I will leave the ring victorious.”
The “Real Deal”, who has fought the likes of Mike Tyson, George Foreman and Riddick Bowe, admitted that the showdown with the Russian Giant will definitely be something special. “He is the biggest champion I have ever faced, that is a fact,” said the 46-year-old, who will try to become the oldest heavyweight champion of all time. “But boxing is not about size. It is about how you fight. And believe me, I will be prepared for him.”
It was a long day for the two fighters. After getting up at five in the morning to catch an early flight from Berlin to Zurich, Valuev enjoyed a rare moment of silence following breakfast to take a quick nap. Holyfield also arrived early after undergoing medical check-ups in Germany the day before. At the Hallenstadion, the two fighters were greeted by American cheerleaders and Russian models in army uniforms. After speaking to the Swiss reporters, a private jet then flew the duo over to Berlin. On the flight, they granted a few selected journalists exclusive interviews.
The next stop was the photo shooting at the Brandenburger Tor, where a huge crowd had gathered to take a glimpse of the two heavyweights. After a second press conference at the Maritim Hotel in the famous Friedrichstrasse, both fighters made an appearance at a special media reception hosted by BILD. Holyfield was impressed by Berlin. “It is a great city,” he stated.
The four-time champion travelled home on Wednesday to shape up in Houston, Texas. Valuev will continue his preparation in Berlin. “I will definitely not underestimate Holyfield,” Valuev said. “There has been speculation in the press about his age but everyone can see that he has stayed in great shape. I expect a tough fight and will take nothing for granted.”
(Pictures: Photo Wende)