Former two-time WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev felt compelled today to post comments on his company’s website regarding his decision to agree to make an optional defense of his crown against David Haye in Nuremberg, Germany, which Haye won by majority decision.
Rampant speculation after the Nov. 7 match was fueled by press accounts attributed to WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko and former WBO heavyweight champion Sultan Ibragimov implying Valuev may have been set up by his co-promoters, Sauerland Event and Don King Productions, into taking a fight that was not in his best interests.
“To avoid confusion or misunderstandings in this situation, I would like to note that my American promoter Don King was opposed to me fighting David Haye,” Valuev wrote. “In fact, Don King was upset when he learned that I had agreed to fight Haye.”
“My German co-promoters [Sauerland Event] did not inform Don King while the negotiations for this fight were being made. In the press, allegations that the American promoter supported this fight are unfounded and false. The choice of the opponent was made by Wilfried Sauerland. The idea to make this fight with David Haye came from Sauerland Event.”