Unification? Fuhgetaboutit! Nicolay Valuev to meet McCline
WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev (44-0, 33 KOs), 33, aka the Big Russian, aka the crown jewel in Don King‘s heavyweight stable, has decided against attempting to unify boxing’s marquee division and will instead defend his crown against perennial contender, and massive overachiever, Jameel McCline (38-6-3, 23 KOs), 36, on January 20 at the St. Jakob-Halle in Basel, Switzerland, the BBC reports.
The seven-foot/300-plus-pound Valuev, who was victorious if less than earth shattering in his last defense in October against Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett, shouldn’t have too much trouble with McCline, who has failed both times he challenged for the title, against Wladimir Klitschko in 2002 and Chris Byrd in 2004.
McCline may surprise everyone and pull a Shannon Briggs, ala his bout with Sergei Liakhovich earlier this month, and score an upset against the Big Russian, but it looks like the plan is for Valuev, who won the WBA title over John Ruiz late last year and is undefeated in 45 fights, to be given a steady stream of relatively easy marks for his next few fights so that before we know it, Valuev will have surpassed Rocky Marciano‘s 49-0, his longstanding record at the time of his retirement in 1956.
Now that will be a big cause for celebration.