Vitali Klitschko Calls Russian Giant Nikolai Valuev a "Chicken"

Colin LinneweberSenior Writer IMarch 11, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Vitali Klitschko celebrates his victory against opponent Chris Arreola at the Staples Center on September 26, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jacob de Golish/Getty Images)
Jacob de Golish/Getty Images

WBC world heavyweight champion Vitali “Dr. Iron Fist” Klitschko called former two-time WBA heavyweight titlist Nikolai Valuev a “chicken” this week for rejecting a $2.5 million contract offer to fight this spring.

Instead of scrapping the enormous Russian Valuev (50-2-0-1, 34 KOs), Klitschko (39-2, 37 KOs) will defend his crown versus Polish pugilist Albert Sosnowski (45-2-1, 27 KOs) on May 29 in Germany.

“I don’t want to speak bad about him, but I gave Valuev the biggest financial proposal of his career,” said Klitschko, 38, a Ukrainian who has the highest knockout percentage (94.9 percent) of any heavyweight champion ever.

“He [Valuev] told me ‘No, four.’ There are two reasons why he’s done this. Firstly, he wanted to say no anyway. Four million is unrealistic for someone who has just lost their title. The second point is that he understands if the loses to me straight after losing his title, that’s it for him. Valuev is a chicken.”

Russian immigrant Alex Yuzhakov stated that he agrees with Klitschko that Valuev is indeed a coward.

“Klitschko is right, Valuev is a chicken,” said Yuzhakov, 28, who was born in Moscow and currently resides in Somerville. “For a Russian man to turn down $2.5 million a lot of fear must have been involved. Maybe he’s waiting for a more opportune time to fight Klitschko. No matter, he will never beat the true ex-Soviet beast.”

Valuev squandered his belt last November when he lost a close majority decision to Englishman David “The Hayemaker” Haye (23-1, 21KOs).

Haye is scheduled to defend his WBA championship against Methuen’s John Ruiz (44-8-1-1, 30 KOs) in the United Kingdom on April 3.

Provided that both Klitschko and Haye emerge victorious in their respective bouts, “Dr. Iron Fist” would like the opportunity to fight “The Hayemaker” sometime before the conclusion of 2010.

However, Klitschko’s younger brother, IBF, IBO, and WBO champ Wladimir, would also like to imminently battle Haye.

“I told my brother, ‘I want to fight Haye,' but he said no, he wants to fight him,” said Klitschko, who announced in January that he intends to retire at the end of this year. “For him [Wladimir] it is personal, but for me I want the title. My brother already has three but I have to clear it with him. I hope he listens to his older brother.”

A matchup pitting Vitali Klitschko with Haye would be fascinating because of their greatly contrasting styles and body frames.

Klitschko is a towering and rugged specimen who is renowned for his ability to launch powerful bombs with both of his fists.

On the contrary, Haye is essentially an enlarged cruiserweight who would need to outbox and evade Klitschko in order to prevail.

Ultimately, as long as one of the Klitschko brothers fights Haye, fans of boxing will win.