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Team Sauerland dismisses Ruiz protest

Posted on 09/09/2008

Team Sauerland has dismissed John Ruiz´ protest against the outcome of
his WBA heavyweight title fight versus Nikolai Valuev, branding his
accusations as “ridiculous and an affront to the WBA”. It is not the
first time the former heavyweight champion and his team act as sore
losers. Back in December 2005, his then-coach stole the belt from Valuev
after the official verdict was announced. Instead of taking the law in
their own hand again, Team Ruiz decided to protest the outcome of last
month´s fight, which Valuev clearly won on points (116-111, 116-113 and
114-113). Valuev should be stripped of his belt and a rematch ordered,
so Ruiz claims. “That is absolutely ridiculous,” Sauerland Event
managing director Chris Meyer said. “His accusations are without any
substance. They are an affront to the WBA and their officials. Everybody
saw that Nikolai clearly won the fight.”

Ruiz accuses judge Takeshi Shimakawa of keeping a running score, while
blaming Antonio Requena for scoring two rounds even. He also criticised
the referee for ruling a slip rather than a knock down when Valuev
slipped in the second round. “Not even in his wildest dreams could Ruiz
knock Valuev down,” Meyer said. “The TV pictures clearly show that
Nikolai slipped. After the 24 rounds the two have been in the ring,
there can be no doubt that Ruiz could not knock Valuev down even if he
had his arms handcuffed to his back.”

Ruiz also claims that Valuev´s corner received updates of the scoring
during the fight. “This accusation is untrue, too,” Meyer added. “WBA
supervisor Robert Mack has already made that clear.”

It was Mack who had immediately sorted out the confusion about the
verdict, which had accidentally been announced as a split decision
rather than an unanimous points victory for Valuev. Mack apologised for
the mistake at the official press conference. “Nikolai will have nothing
to fear from the WBA,” Meyer added. “But it really is a shame that Ruiz
acts as a sore loser yet again.”

For the international media, the outcome of the fight was clear. The
Daily Telegraph wrote: “On closer examination of the 12 rounds, Valuev
will clearly be seen to have dominated Ruiz with his jab, and 84 inch
reach, allied with having the greater skills he showed when he
outpointed former titleholder Sergei Liakhovich, from Belarus, winning
every round in a February 2008 title eliminator at the Nuremberg Arena.”
Bild, Germany´s biggest-selling tabloid, reported: “Gigantic win for
Russian Giant. All in all it was a sovereign victory.”

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