Live Saturday night from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois (HBO), WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev, aka the Russian Giant, defends his crown against a normal sized fighter from Jamaica, Queens named Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett. What Barrett has done to deserve this title shot is anyone’s guess, but since he is outweighed by 100 lbs., is giving up 7 inches in height, and is fighting Valuev in an 18-foot ring, this seems like no time to pick on Two Gunz. And while Valuev may be bigger than big, he’s more boxer than slugger, albeit with nuclearology in his oversized mitts. This is how The Sweet Science writers see Nikolai Valuev vs. Monte Barrett.
Who knows what to expect from Valuev? Besides being mammoth (7-foot), he is said to have some skills. And those two things combined should be enough to beat Barrett, a tough little fighter but one that is often outmanned against bigger opponents. Go with Valuev by sixth-round knockout.
Size matters. In the case of WBA titlist Nicolai Valuev, it will make up for his other deficiencies come Saturday night. Valuev doesn’t have speed or polish, but at 7 feet and 325 pounds, he is truly the Russian Giant. Monte Barrett, with only 17 knockouts in his 31 wins, will be unable to hurt Valuev, and unable to solve his size. Two of Barrett’s four losses came against the two biggest men he has faced – a decision loss to 6'8" 249-pound Lance Whitaker and a knockout at the hands of 6'6", 244-pound Wladimir Klitschko. Now add a few inches and a few pounds. Valuev will keep his undefeated record intact with a late round knockout.
Without folding chairs or a sledge hammer, Monte Barrett's task of taking down WBA champ Nikolai Valuev is for naught. "Two Gunz" better pack a sling shot hefty enough to launch a boulder, or else conventional -- by that, I mean legal -- boxing tactics are out of the question. Valuev wins by knockout with his big right hand delivering the finishing touches in the sixth.
Jesse K. Cox
Monte Barret is a good boxer, who defeated a few decent opponents, but lost every time he tried to raise the level of his competition. He TKOed Owen Beck in nine rounds, but Nicolay Valuev put him to sleep in three rounds. The Russian also beat a few good ranked heavyweights, but showed his limits against Larry Donald. In his most recent fights, Valuev showed that he has improved technically and that he can go twelve rounds easily. Nicolay has the power to KO anybody with one punch and Monte is not fast enough to avoid them. I say Valuev by KO 5.
Luca De Franco
Does size really matter? When you're comparing Valuev to Monte Barrett it will. Let's look for Valuev to overwhelm "Two Gunz" and win convincingly. If he decides to make an evening of it, Valuev will let the fight go the grueling distance if not, a big KO by round 5.
Valuev will take Barrett down low and score a slam-dunk late in a boring contest that will alienate all voyeurs – and that's what they'll be, looking at a freak show – from Don King's Republican party. This is a disgusting matchup. What the hell is Barrett doing in a title fight? Hasn't fought in over a year, if you call what he did against Rahman "fighting.”
The cumbersome Valuev would seem to be ripe for the picking, but it isn’t clear Barrett is up to the task. Monte seems to become mesmerized whenever he gets near this level, and there’s even more on the line in this one. Unless we miss our guess he won’t even have much support from the Chicago crowd. (The other question you might ask yourself is: Don King might promote both of them, but which guy do you think King would rather see win?) The Beast from the East in another boring decision.
Barrett is a good big guy but Valuev is a better and much, much bigger guy. The last time Barrett fought a giant like Valuev it was against Wlad Klitschko and Barrett was punished for seven rounds. He deserves credit for getting up off the canvas five times in that fight, but that also means he was dropped five times! Valuev has fought guys like Barrett before and I expect Monte to suffer a similar fate as that endured by Owen Beck – Beck was stopped inside 3 rounds. Valuev actually puts his punches together and has improved, but the ol' 1-2 is all is will take to end things Saturday. Barrett might be better than Beck so let's give him until the 6th or 7th before the lights go out for good.
Barrett is designed to be little more than a sacrificial lamb for the mammoth Valuev, who despite holding a meaningless title belt, has not yet proven anything. His decision wins against Larry Donald and John Ruiz were extremely controversial, but at least the circus sideshow has been showing improvement. If Barrett can get in the chest of Valuev and not let allow him to use that jab of his, the Russian could be in for a long night. I'm going out on a limb and picking Barrett via 10th round TKO.
Nikolai Valuev is no Muhammad Ali but in this day and age he doesn't have to be. I don't see Barrett having anything to keep him off and even if he manages to get slick for a couple of rounds, eventually Valuev will hunt him down and pound him into the canvas. Valuev KO round six.
Monte Barrett has all the talent in the world but he never utilizes it. If he does what he usually does, it'll be just enough to lose a decision with dignity. Valuev W 12.
The bigger they are the harder they punch, at least in this sad case, as Barrett doesn't even seem worthy enough of a shot at the giant considering his recent performance against Rahman. I'm just grateful I don't have to watch this spectacle and get to see a real fight in Corrales-Casamayor. They say Valuev is learning to throw combinations, well in that case I guess Barrett really has no chance. I'll take Valuev by decision.
Monte Barrett has a chance to grab his nation’s attention with this bout and will make the most of the opportunity. He will give Nikolai Valuev trouble at first, but in the end, the Russian will prove to be too big and too strong for his opponent. Valuev by TKO.
If Valuev stumbles it's a huge matchmaking misstep, so we really shouldn't count on much more from Barrett than playing undersized catcher. Still, there's a decent chance the designated victim could put a scare into Don King's production staff somewhere inside the first few frames.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV