Nikolai Sergeyvich Valuev (born August 21, 1973) is a Russian Politician and former professional boxer. In boxing, he competed from 1993 to 2009, and held the WBA Heavyweight title twice between 2005 and 2009. Standing at a height of 7.0 ft and a peak weight of 328 lb, Valuev is best known for being the tallest and heaviest world champion in boxing history.
Valuev vs Holyfield
Valuev’s first title defense of his second reighn as WBA Champion was against the 46 year old, four time heavyweight champion of the world, Evander Holyfield, on 20 December 2008. Before the match, Valuev weighted 310.8 pounds, nearly 100 pounds heavier than Holyfield at 214.3 pounds. After a rather uneventful match with no knockdowns and few punches thrown by either fighter, Valuev won a widely disputed majority decision. In response to the controversial result the WBA announced plans to investigate the decision.
In his Second defense on 7 November 2009, billed as ‘David vs Goliath’, Valuev faced off against former unified and lineal cruiserweight champion David Haye (22-1, 21 KOs) at the Arena Nurnberger Verischerung in Nuremberg. Valuev lost on points (114-114, 116-112, 116-112).
Retirement from boxing and health problems
Valuev announced his retirement from boxing in a Russian newspaper three days after the loss to Haye on 10 November 2009.
In 2010, Valuev’s doctor went on record saying that he is treating Valuev for “serious bone and joint problems”. Valuev underwent two operations that required at least six months on the sidelines.
Valuev confirmed in 2013 that medical advice was one of the reasons he is not planning to make a comeback in boxing.
Valuev is one of five heavyweight champions to have retired without having suffered a stoppage loss during his career. The others are Gene Tunney, Rocky Marciano, Riddick Bowe and Sultan Ibragimov.
Life outside of boxing
Acting career and advertising
Valuev’s first role in a film was a cameo appearance in the German film 7 Zwerge – Der Wald ist nicht genug in 2006. In 2008, Valuev played the main role in the film Stonehead by Philip Yankovskiy, playing an ex-boxer who lost his memory. The film took the main prize at the film festival “Window to Europe. After the success of stonehead, it was announced Valuev is being filmed in two new films at the same time.
Valuev has participated in several photo and video advertisements of various products and services. In November 2009, he signed a promotional contract with a German sausage manufacturer, making Valuev the face of the company’s advertisement campaign for five years. Nikolai Valuev is also planning to open a family restaurant in Germany. In August 2010, Valuev signed a promotional contract with the Pokerstars poker portal.
Valuev’s distinctive appearance and fame have occasionally attracted the use of his images in advertising without his permission. In particular, a Penza-located theatre, which for some time before a movie showing, had an ad where Valuev acts as a man who punished the audience disturbing others.