By Keith Idec
Vitali Klitschko isn’t sure who he’ll fight if he defeats Dereck Chisora on Saturday and can’t convince David Haye to sign a contract.
The huge Ukrainian champion does know Nikolai Valuev isn’t among his options. Klitschko (43-2, 40 KOs) has been trying to land a fight against the 7-foot Russian for several years, but they couldn’t come to a contractual agreement.
Valuev also informed Klitschko recently that he won’t box again.
“I received an answer from Nikolai,” Klitschko said while promoting his fight against Chisora on Saturday in Munich, Germany. “He’s retired and doesn’t want to fight anymore. It’s a very interesting fight. It would’ve been interesting to see where we [could] find sparring partners for this fight. I’m 6-7, but Nikolai Valuev is [7-foot]. I never fought against such a big fighter and this fight would be interesting for me, especially for all the audience … but I have bad news, because Nikolai doesn’t want to fight anymore because he decided to retire.”
The 38-year-old Valuev (50-2, 34 KOs, 1 NC) hasn’t fought since losing a 12-round majority decision to England’s Haye (25-2, 23 KOs) in November 2009. Valuev announced his retirement in Russia three days after the Haye bout, but later considered returning to the ring, most seriously for a fight against Vitali Klitschko in 2010.
But Valuev told BoxingScene.com in December that he doesn’t plan to fight again. Valuev has had several surgeries to repair various injuries since he lost to Haye and, like Klitschko in Ukraine, he is an aspiring politician in his native Russia.
“I have a dream to fight Nikolai, but he decided because of a lot of injuries, to retire,” said Klitschko, who lost a Kiev mayoral election in 2006, when he was temporarily retired from boxing. “And I had to respect that and wish Nikolai a lot of luck in his political career.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.