Valuev wins WBA heavyweight title

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:50 IST

Russian Nikolay Valuev won a disputed split decision against John Ruiz to claim the WBA heavyweight title Saturday night.

Valuev wins WBA heavyweight title
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Berlin:

Russian Nikolay Valuev won a disputed split decision against John Ruiz to claim the WBA heavyweight title Saturday night, becoming the tallest and heaviest champion of all time. The crowd of 10,000 derided the decision that had the 2.13 meter (7-foot) Valuev winning 116-113 and 116-114 on the cards of two judges, and another scoring it 114-114. "Boxing is the only sport where you can get robbed without a gun. My promoter, Don King, should do his job and get me a rematch,'' Ruiz said, then walked out of the post-match press conference. Close fight Both sides admitted the fight was close after Valuev won the middle rounds. He became the first Russian heavyweight champion. "I'm always fighting a smaller man, and the crowd always supports the smaller man,'' Valuev said of the crowd's jeers. "But I was perfectly sure at the end I had won." Ruiz's record fell to 42-6 with one draw while Valuev remained unbeaten at 43-0 with one no-decision. The fight was inartful with Valuev appearing awkward and Ruiz clinching throughout, much like in 11 previous title fights. Testy conference The post-match press conference was testy with Ruiz manager Norman Stone accusing the German organizers of manipulating the fight, although they were not responsible for the selection of judges from New Zealand, Australia and Mexico. Stone had to be restrained in the ring when the decision was announced, and German promoter Wilfried Sauerland accused him of inciting the crowd, leading to the jeers. The loss was the latest setback for Ruiz, who also lost to James Toney in April, but was given back the title when Toney was stripped of the belt for testing positive for steroids. (AP)

Topics : Boxing
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