At 7 feet and 325 pounds, it is no wonder that Nikolai Valuev is crowned the World Boxing Association champion. It was always his height and body build that made Nikolai excel in sports. At 12 years old, he already stood at 6 feet and 4 inches. A lot of people noticed him for his height but despite feeling awkward about it, he used his height advantage to get ahead in sports. Before boxing, Valuev was a basketball player and even won a national championship at the junior level while he was only 16 years old. At age 18, Valuev’s interest turned to track and field, especially in hammer and discus throwing. When Valuev was only 20 years old, Oleg Shalaev, a boxing trainer, noticed his potential. Nicolai fell in love with the sport almost immediately.
Nikolai trained in boxing even during the time when the Communists banned the sport. The ban wasn’t going to stop him from going places. He knew he had the talent and with less than 15 amateur fights, Valuev became a professional boxer. His first professional fight was on October 15, 1993 in Berlin. Needless to say, he defeated American boxer, John Morton with a second-round technical knockout. He fought more fights after his first victory but he had little money or reputation to show for it. Thanks to Wilfried Sauerland, a German promoter, Nikolai Valuev’s career was on the rise.
Nikolai Valuev’s impressed many by defeating many heavyweight boxers, including undefeated heavyweight champions all over Europe and America. Many underestimated the abilities of Nikolai and those who did stood in disbelief after Nikolai was able to defeat Paolo Vidoz, Gerald Nobles, Attila “The Hun” Levin, Clifford “The Black Rhino” Etienne, Larry “The Legend” Donald, and most impressive of all John “The Quietman” Ruiz. He won every fight using short, quick punches (unexpected of a large fighter), great footwork, and effective combinations.
Nikolai still has a lot going for him in the year 2008. With 48 wins (34 knockouts), one loss and no draws everyone is expecting a lot from the Russian Giant.