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March 8, 2021
SPORTS

Boxing: Valuev to meet Vitaly Klitschko in unification fight

WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev will meet WBC title holder Vitaly Klitschko in a unification fight this year, the Russian boxer said.


“I’ve talked to Vitaly on the phone recently and we agreed to meet each other in a ring,” Valuev, 35, was quoted as saying by Russian media. “As far as the dates we’re talking about the end of September or early October.” Ukrainian Klitschko said: “Yes, it’s true. Nikolai had offered to fight and I’ve accepted his challenge.” Klitschko, 37, became eligible to fight Valuev after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that he did not have to make a mandatory defence against former champion Oleg Maskaev.


Valuev’s fight with Uzbek Ruslan Chagaev was cancelled last month because Chagaev had tested positive for hepatitis B. Klitschko’s younger brother Vladimir, who holds the IBF, IBO and WBO heavyweight belts, retained his titles when he knocked out Chagaev in a fight in Germany on Saturday.


In a fragmented heavyweight division, boxing fans worldwide have long been hoping that an undisputed champion will emerge. “I think everyone in the boxing world would want to see this fight because people are tired of having so many different title versions,” Valuev said.

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