Across the Pond III
By Julian Kasdin (December 17, 2005)  
Nicolay 'Beast from the East' Valuev
This week will have seen several major fights in Europe, beginning with the already concluded fights in Austria, and ending with the WBA title fight between John Ruiz and Nicolay Valuev. As stated before, all these fights have an impact on the world of boxing, and once again the American viewing audience will not have a chance to see any of these fights. Hopefully one day our friends at ESPN, HBO or Showtime can provide us with coverage of the bevy of important fights happening across the pond.

The fights began on Tuesday in Austria, when Vladimir ‘The Hunter’ Virchis moved to 20-0 (17), in a disputed unanimous decision win over Michael Sprott, 27-9 (14). Virchis was the favorite coming into this fight, and the big Ukrainian had come off of a big come behind knockout victory of Taras Bidenko. This fight was supposed to give Virchis practice against an opponent who possessed movement and speed, but would be easy to beat. Apparently Sprott had other plans in mind, and according to some sources may have deserved the nod. Either way Virchis pulled out the close points victory, and now moves into possible contention for Paolo Vidoz’s EBU title.

One of the under cards Tuesday night featured a fighter highlighted in my Young Guns article, 19 year old Denis Boytsov, 11-0 (11), against Zoltan Petranyi, 28-17 (5), in the young Russian’s biggest fight to date. Boytsov defeated Petranyi by second round knockout; defeating the Hungarian quicker then Danny Williams did earlier this year. Boytsov seems to be progressing nicely, and with nine first round knockouts and two second round knockouts, the young man seems to have serious power. Hopefully this young gun continues to progress nicely, and possibly provide us with exciting matches in the future.

Saturday one of the other fighters highlighted in my Young Guns article, Alexander Povetkin, 4-0 (3), takes on Willie Chapman, 19-23-3 (5), in an important jump in competition against a well known spoiler. Povetkin is a former Olympic gold medalist, and a living amateur legend. Willie Chapman has been responsible for ending eight fighters undefeated streaks, hopefully Povetkin does not fall victim to Chapman’s curse. I see the young, hungry, and skilled Povetkin smartly out boxing Chapman en route to a fifth or sixth round stoppage.

The most important fight this weekend is that between John ‘The Quiteman’ Ruiz, 41-5-1 (28), and Nicolay ‘Beast from the East’ Valuev, 42-0 (31), in the ninth defense of Ruiz’s WBA title. Ruiz is probably the most disliked heavyweight title holder ever, but he does find a way to keep on winning. While I would prefer not to see Ruiz, this is one fight that I do want to see. Ruiz relies off his jab and grab style, but against Valuev he is fighting someone almost a foot taller, and almost one-hundred pounds heavier. Simply put jab and grab will not work against this Russia behemoth, as it will only serve to tire Ruiz out, as the bigger and stronger Russian won’t be affected by him. I do not see what Ruiz can bring to the table to beat Valuev, he is not as slick of a boxer as Larry Donald, and he doesn’t have the size and power of Atilla Levin. Valuev’s jab and heavy straight right, as well as uppercut will all help decide this fight. Valuev can land his heavy shots from long range, and fire the uppercut when Ruiz comes in. Some people might call me crazy, but I see Valuev winning this fight by mid-round stoppage.

Four important fights this week, all of them in Europe, and none of them viewable by the American boxing audience. Unfortunately we as American fans of the sport are not treated to the increasing number of quality fights put on by promoters in Europe. Doghouseboxing readers, keep your eyes open for the winners from Tuesday, and the results on Saturday, they will all probably have an impact on the sport we love.
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