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Chagaev to fight Valuev on May 30

NIKOLAI Valuand Ruslan Chagaev will fight for the WBA heavyweight title on May 30, most likely in the Finnish capital Helsinki.

Sauerland Promotions won an auction to stage the fight by bidding US$2.8 million, Sauerland managing director Chris Meyer said yesterday. "The fight should take place on May 30 and we are looking at Helsinki as the venue," Meyer said.

Chagaev won the WBA version of the heavyweight title by beating Valuev in Stuttgart, Germany, on April 14, 2007. He had to pull out of a rematch because of a ruptured Achilles' tendon and was declared "Champion in Recess" by the WBA. Because of his status, he has to fight Russian Valuev by the end of June.

Valuev won the vacant title in August by beating John Ruiz, then defended it in December against former champion Evander Holyfield.

Chagaev won a technical decision over Carl Davis Drumond on February 7, in the Uzbekistan-born heavyweight's first fight in more than a year.

Chagaev's record is 25-0-1, with 17 KOs. Valuev is 50-1 (34 KOs).

Elsewhere, WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto said on Monday that a recent brawl with his uncle at a Puerto Rico gym is a family matter, and neither one wishes to pursue a criminal case.

Cotto, who was greeted by a crush of reporters and photographers at a courthouse in his hometown of Caguas, called the dispute an "unfortunate situation" and asked the press to respect his privacy.

Puerto Rican authorities are investigating the bruising fisticuffs between the elite boxer and his uncle and longtime trainer, Evangelista Cotto, who have had a sometimes combative relationship. Police say the two exchanged blows last Wednesday after a heated argument.

After the scrap, Cotto issued a terse statement saying his uncle would no longer be in his corner and he planned to find a new trainer.

Cotto (33-1, 27 KOs) is preparing to fight Joshua Clottey for the IBF and WBO welterweight titles on June 13 in New York.


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