1. #1
    Illusion
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    Ruiz loses WBA title; Laila Ali runs mark to 22-0

    BERLIN -- John Ruiz lost the WBA heavyweight title Saturday night, dropping a disputed majority decision to 7-foot Nikolay Valuev of Russia.

    In an earlier bout on the same card, Laila Ali stopped Sweden's Asa Sandell in the fifth round of a non-title bout with her father, former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, watching.

    But the spotlight belonged to Ruiz and Valuev, who became the tallest and heaviest (323 pounds) champion of all-time. He won 116-113 and 116-114 on two judges' cards, with a third judge scoring the fight 114-114.

    The crowd of 10,000 booed the decision.

    "Boxing is the only sport where you can get robbed without a gun," Ruiz said. "My promoter Don King should do his job and get a rematch."

    Ruiz manager Norman Stone had to be restrained in the ring when the announcement was made, and a member of Valuev's entourage threw a punch at Stone while Stone was parading with Ruiz's belt inside the ring.

    German promoter Wilfried Sauerland accused him of inciting the crowd, leading to the booing.

    Each side admitted the fight was close after Valuev loosened up and won the middle rounds. He became the first Russian heavyweight champion.

    "I'm always fighting a smaller man and the crowd always supports the smaller man," the 32-year-old Valuev said of the crowd's jeers. "But I was perfectly sure at the end I had won.

    "I had to wait 12 years for this and now it has happened. It's fantastic."

    Ruiz, who weighed 85 pounds less than Valuev at 238 and was 10 inches shorter, appeared to have the fight in hand, using a jab-and-grab tactic to slip in a few punches and then tie up Valuev.

    Valuev began throwing combinations in the seventh round, adding to a left jab that landed from the opening round. In the ninth, Valuev even danced a bit.

    Valuev landed the only punch that did damage in the final round, hitting Ruiz on the chin with a straight left that wobbled the champion. Ruiz clinched his way to the end of the fight.

    Ruiz's record fell to 42-6-1, while Valuev improved to 43-0 with one no-decision.

    The American used the clinching moves that carried him through 11 title fights, with wins against Evander Holyfield and Andrew Golota.

    "We knew beforehand you can't have a beautiful fight against John Ruiz," Valuev's trainer Uli Wegner said. "But my fighter jabbed him the whole fight and later he used his physical advantage. It was close, but he deserved the verdict."

    This was the latest setback for Ruiz after losses to two former middleweights. He was beaten by Roy Jones Jr. and James Toney in April, but was given the title when Toney was stripped of the crown for testing positive for steroids.

    At the news conference after the bout, Stone accused the Germans of manipulating the fight, although they did not choose the judges from New Zealand, Australia and Mexico.

    Ruiz's camp said they will petition for the rematch with the WBA, which they did successfully for a Holyfield fight.

    The 32-year-old Valuev is a former basketball player and discus thrower who was fighting for almost nothing in Russia until he was discovered by Sauerland two years ago.

    "This is the best New Year's gift I could have," Valuev said. "I'm not thinking about being the first Russian champion, I'm thinking of improving, so I can keep the title two or three fights."

    In the women's undercard fight, Ali caught the taller Sandell with a left hook late in the fifth round, then knocked her back with several punches before the referee stepped in.

    Muhammad Ali, in Berlin to collect a peace prize, walked ringside to kiss his daughter after she ran her record to 22-0 with 19 knockouts.

    Ali, the women's WBC champion, had a tough time during the first two rounds from the little-known Swede, who used her height to connect several times.

    "I expected the fight to be a little tougher than usual," Ali said. "I had a game plan. They stopped the fight too early, but they do that in women's boxing."

    Sandell's record fell to 3-2 with one draw. The 37-year-old is a former amateur European champion who now works as a journalist.

  2. #2
    bigboydan
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    i couldn't believe that fight that broke out after this fight was over.

  3. #3
    Illusion
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    I wonder what size hat that guy wears? His melon is enormous.

  4. #4
    Senator7
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    I didn't get to see the fight, but that Russian is enormous. He's like Ivan Drago from Rocky.

  5. #5
    onlooker
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    I didnt want to see this fight. Who wants to see Ruiz fight? Heavyweights are crap right now, and until someone makes it exciting again, then I will start to watch these chumps get their butts kicked.

  6. #6
    moses millsap
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    I don't really need action fighters, but Ruiz is nothing more than a glorified wrestler in the ring, so I'm glad to see the belt off his waist. Also nice to see Stone get whacked in the face, that guy drives me nuts. Best heavyweight is Byrd, but the public doesn't appreciate defensive boxers who counter punch, so the money and decisions will continue to flow toward the frauds.

    Winky takes on all fighters, but now DiBella knowing that Taylor has no shot is trying to delay that match. Thank god the WBC is ordering that fight to take place sooner than later, I'd like to see Taylor get another gift decision.

    Judah talks all this smack, but now doesn't want to face PBF instead talking about a rematch with Kostya, hope KT knocks his punk a$$ again. At least we got some good fights coming up on Showtime the next 3 months and Morales/Pacquiao if nothing else, should provide some non-stop action.

    The fight I want to see will probably not take place and that is Hatton/PBF at 140.

    Not a good time for boxing, IMHO, when a "major" fight is Mosely vs Vargas, that might have been worth it years ago, but not now, not how they've looked in their recent fights.

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