Holyfield - Valuev: Old Dogs and Giants
By Bob Carroll, Doghouse Boxing (Dec 19, 2008) DoghouseBoxing.com  
A few weeks ago I heard a pretty funny joke. It was a Saturday night and I was spending that night like many of my Saturday nights, watching a fight on TV, throwing back a few and talking to Doghouse’s lead writer “The Big Dog” Benny Henderson Jr. While engrossed in our typical world’s problem solving conversation, Benny told me a pretty funny joke, “Did you hear that Evander Holyfield is taking on Nikolai Valuev for the interim WBA title?” Now I thought that Benny’s statement was damn funny and laughed so hard at what I perceived as a hilarious statement that Benny actually got mad and hung up the phone on me. After a minute or so, I pulled myself together enough to call Benny back and he informed me that the aforementioned fight was not a joke, but it was true. After it sunk in that this was really a match-up that a promoter somewhere thought was a good idea, Benny and I talked about how far promoters have fallen to find heavyweight title match-ups.

This Saturday night, 7 foot, 317 lb, 35 year old Nikolai Valuev takes on 6’2”, 218 lb, 46 year old Evander Holyfield for the interim WBA heavyweight title and the right to take on oft-injured Ruslan Chagaev, the actual holder of the WBA title, should he make it past Carl Davis Drummond on February 7, 2009. In a certain way I can see why promoters may have thought this was a good match-up. Holyfield, only 7 years removed from being the WBA heavyweight champion, brings a lot of experience to this fight. Holyfield has been in against some of the best fighters of the 1990’s and into the 2000’s. He may bring an air of creditability to the weak resume of fighters that have been in front of Valuev. The promoters may have also thought this would be the modern version of the biblical match-up of David and Goliath. Not only does this fight make no sense in it's match-up, it makes no sense in marketing. Evander, as much as I love him, has not been a draw since 2001 and Nikolai Valuev, the interim WBA champ, is known only to serious boxing fans. Ask a casual boxing fan who the heavyweight champion is presently and they will most likely tell you "Klitschko", but not know which one. This fight will do nothing to improve this problem.

As a boxing fan, I find this match-up as nothing more than a promoter ensuring a win for Valuev against an aging and faded former world champion. The fact that this match-up is being presented to the public as a legitimate heavyweight “championship”, but this drivel is also only being shown in the US on pay-per-view. This coming after the ridiculous match-up on HBO Saturday night between IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladamir Klitschko and former heavyweight contender and short time WBC/IBF heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman. Wow, what's next, Vitali Klitschko pays David Haye to step aside (and don't get me started on that fight. The Big Dog said it best "David WHO?") so he can take on Riddick Bowe? Yes, Riddick Bowe. He actually fought and won on the undercard of Klitschko-Rahman. I guess that makes him as eligible as Hasim Rahman to fight for a title. Hell, a promoter could sell it as "Riddick is very dangerous, he has not lost a fight in 15 years!"

With all of the heavyweights that are available to use in a title fight, Chris Arreola, Malik Scott, Tony Thompson (I realize he just lost to Wlad, but given another shot for a title, he's as dangerous an opponent than you will find), Lamon Brewster, Brian Minto, Danny Batchelder, etc., and we are given Nikolai Valuev against Evander Holyfield? I haven't purposely skipped a heavyweight title fight in about 10 years, but this fight is one that I will voluntarily skip. I'm not a fan of Valuev, but he defeats Holyfield by unanimous decision. The only good part of this fight is the name Benny Henderson Jr. made up for it, Old Dogs and Giants.

You can listen to Bob Carroll and his co-hosts Butch and Benny Henderson Jr on Fightin' Words Radio Show, Wednesday nights, 6-7pm eastern standard on http://1490wwpr.com.

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