NEW YORK—Boxing promoter Don King has asked the World Boxing Association to declare Nikolai “Giant Russian” Valuev its undisputed heavyweight champion after Saturday’s match between Valuev and WBA “champion in recess” Ruslan Chagaev at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland, was cancelled.
“The World Boxing Association should act swiftly and unequivocally to designate Nikolai Valuev as its undisputed heavyweight champion,” King said from New York just before boarding a plane bound for Helsinki where he will make his case in person. “Nikolai has been patient in waiting for Chagaev to become medically fit to fight. We applaud the WBA for making every effort to allow Chagaev to return, but it is clear now that we must move on.”
Valuev and then-WBA heavyweight champion Chagaev were scheduled to meet on July 5, 2008, but Chagaev was unable to fight after rupturing his left Achilles’ tendon. The WBA subsequently named Chagaev champion in recess and allowed Valuev and John Ruiz to fight for the WBA heavyweight championship on Aug. 30, 2008—a fight Valuev won by decision.
King is scheduled to arrive in Helsinki on Saturday morning at 8:50.