WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev has dubbed Saturday´s rematch against “champion in recess” Ruslan Chagaev the “most important fight” of his life. The Russian Giant (50-1, 34 KOs) is eager to avenge the only loss of his career. “I am glad I will finally get the chance to set the record straight,” he said at today´s press conference at Hartwall Arena. “I am very confident of success. I have improved a lot since the first meeting. This is certainly the most important fight of my career.”
Valuev stated he did not care about Chagaev´s strange behaviour during the last couple of days. Yesterday, the Universum fighter boycotted the official media work-out. Today he left the arena straight after the end of the press conference – without speaking to the reporters that were hoping to get additional statements. “I am happy to be in Finland,” Chagaev had said on the podium. “I am very calm and also a little bit tense but that is quite normal so close to the fight.”
Meanwhile, Valuev´s manager Wilfried Sauerland emphasized how pleased he was to stage the first-ever heavyweight title fight on Finnish soil: “This is a very special fight for us,” he said. We are delighted to stage the fight here in Finland. Helsinki will be in the centre of the boxing world on Saturday night. I have no doubts that Valuev will win. He has improved a lot since the first meeting. His new coach has made him much better. He is well prepared and he will leave the ring as the winner.” Alexander Zimin was quick to agree: “Nikolai has worked very hard in practice. We have improved his speed and his technical abilities. We are very confident.”
Michael Timm, Chagaev´s coach, is also confident of success: “Ruslan proved in the first fight that he can overcome the size difference. It is tough for the smaller guy to fight a bigger one but also the other way round. Ruslan has done very well – he has returned quickly from his Achilles injury and he is pleased that the fight will finally take place.”
Also in action will be WBA/WBC female welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus. The “First Lady” will make her first title defence against Amy Yuratovac. “She has clinched all her victories by KO,” Braekhus said. “She is a tough opponent but I have no intentions of losing my titles again. It feels great to be the world champion. I want to please my Scandinavian fans on Saturday night.” Coach Ulli Wegner was full of praise for her development. “She keeps improving every day,” he said. “Her fitness is excellent, as is her attitude. She will make me proud again on Saturday, no doubts about that.”
Remaining tickets for the hotly-anticipated fight night at the Hartwall Arena, which is organised by Tailor Events and P3 Boxing, are available at www.lippu.fi as well as +358 600 900 900. VIP packages can be purchased at www.revengeofthegiant.com.
For more pictures, please visit Team Sauerland´s official webpage, www.boxing-online.com. Picture credit: Eastpress.