Barrett Loses Heavyweight Title Bid, Valuev Too Big

By Francis Walker
Updated: October 9, 2006

NEW YORK — Monte Barrett told a tremendous story about how he compared his forth coming battle with WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev to David vs. Goliath. Barrett saw himself as David. Valuev represented the giant monster, Goliath.

Unlike David, Barrett said he wouldn’t need seven stones to beat the monster. Instead, Barrett had only two fists that he hoped would be more than enough to win a heavyweight championship.

At 7-feet and 324 pounds, Valuev was seven inches taller and more than 100 pounds heavier than Barrett (31-5, 17 KOs), as Valuev (45-0, 32 KOs) recorded the second successful defense of the WBA title with a knockout at 2:12 of the 11th round Saturday at Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL.

Valuev has moved to within four fights of tying the late Rocky Marciano’s undefeated heavyweight record of 49 victories without a loss (49-0).

“I brought my A-game but I just could not get my range going because he is so big,” Barrett said.

Barrett was clearly the best opponent that Valuev has faced in his career. Although Valuev is big and strong, he does have a number of weaknesses.

When Valuev punches down, he leaves himself open to get hit. Valuev does not bring his hands back quick enough, which allowed Barrett to land some booming right hands.

Barrett was not afraid to engage Valuev into a slugfest. Barrett even bucked Valuev’s knees with a slugging right flush to the champion’s chin in the opening round.

Valuev moves his hands and feet forward, but does not dodge or block punches well. This allowed Barrett to engage Valuev in a standoff. Valuev is also slow. When he threw his left-jab, straight-right combination, Barrett hit Valuev with looping shots that jerked his head back.

Barrett was very competitive and had a chance to win if he had boxed a better. Barrett has never fought anyone with the size ands strength of Valuev. The champion had very good stamina and threw a lot of punches.

As the fight continued, the champion’s 100-pound weight advantage increasingly became a tremendous obstacle for Barrett, who faded terribly in the later rounds.

Valuev earned a knockdown in the eighth and earned two more in the eleventh round. Barrett returned to his feet after all three knockdowns, but his trainer James Ali Basheer rightfully intervened.

“Valuev was tested today,” Basheer said. “He should be respected as a true champion. I could have let Monte Barrett continue, but he was hurt and tired and that would have been a very risky thing to do.”

Valuev is one of four fighters from the former Soviet Union to hold a piece of the world heavyweight championship. Sergui Liakhovich is scheduled to defend the WBO title against Shannon Briggs on Nov. 4th in Phoenix, AZ.

IBF champion, Wladimir Klitschko is set to defend his crown against undefeated Calvin Brock at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Nov. 11.

Newly crowned WBC champion, Oleg Maskeav could possibly return to Russia in Dec. in defense of his heavyweight title.

It will be very interesting if King can get Valuev and the other heavyweights to unify the world heavyweight championship next year