Former world heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev, the 7ft giant who was famously beaten by David Haye, reveals he’s been summoned to fight in Vladimir Putin’s Russian army… and he plans to enlist next week amid war in Ukraine
- Nikolai Valuev has been called up to fight in Vladimir Putin’s Russian army
- Valuev is a former two-time heavyweight champion who lost to David Haye
- He retired over a decade ago, but is now set to serve in the Russian army
- He said he will enlist next week amid his country’s conflict with Ukraine
Former world heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev has revealed that he has been summoned to fight for Vladimir Putin’s Russian army in Ukraine.
Valuev was a two-time WBA title-holder, and is the tallest and heaviest world champion ever, standing at over seven foot and weighing in excess of 23 stone in his fighting days. He famously fought David Haye in 2009, losing to the Brit by majority decision.
That turned out to be his final fight, and he moved into politics to become a member of parliament in Putin’s United Russia Party two years later. He has now explained that he has been called up to the army, and is planning to enlist next week.
Russia’s Nikolai Valuev is the tallest and heaviest world champion ever in boxing
Valuev has revealed that he has been summoned to fight in Vladimir Putin’s Russian army
‘In my opinion, everyone has received a summons, I also received a summons,’ Valuev told Russian outlet Izvestia.
‘Will I go? Of course, I will go to the enlistment office now.
‘My colleagues [fellow MPs] are good, they were registered for military service in the State Duma and received summons here, but I have to go home.
‘I received the summons right before my trip to Donbas, and I was not at home. Next week I will definitely go and report to the enlistment office.’
Valuev was treated for ‘serious bone and joint problems’ in 2010, and went on to undergo surgery which led to him being medically advised to call time on his boxing career.
Despite these issues, he has still been called up to the army, and has indicated that he will serve his country.
Valuev was beaten by David Haye in his final fight as a professional boxer in 2009
The 49-year-old may have retired from boxing over a decade, but he has still been in the spotlight since then.
Back in 2013, it was revealed that he was on the hunt for the real Bigfoot in Siberia, with Channel 4 carrying out a documentary on his expedition named Bigfoot Files. Valuev was unable to find the mythical creature.
He is not the only ex-sportsman to have been enlisted for the Russian army during their ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
It was revealed earlier this week that former Everton footballer Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has also been called up to fight in the Russian armed forces, just one week after Putin announced a partial military mobilisation.