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I would love to see a fight between British and Commonweath belt holder Tyson Fury and former WBA World Champion Nikolai Valuev, but realistically it is not one ever likely to happen. Stranger things have occurred in boxing, however, and with Valuev thirty eight years old there is a tiny, remote chance he could return to the ring.

What makes this fight in particular an entertaining prospect is the fact that Valuev has never been in the ring with someone who is near enough the same height as him, which is understandable as he is over 7' tall.

You might ask at this point why Valuev (50-2  34KOs) has never faced one of the Klitschkos; after all, they are nearly the same height as him. The reason is that Nikolai Valuev fighting one of the Klitschko’s is a total mismatch and I believe he would be either knocked out or stopped for the first time in his career – Haye almost had him down and he is smaller and not anywhere near as good as the Klitschko’s.

Valuev stands at 7’2” tall while Fury is 6’9”, so there are only five inches in it; it would be just like watching Haye fight a Klitschko in terms of height comparison. As for reach, Fury (16-0  11KOs) has the marginally smaller one of 85” compared to Valuev’s 89” inch reach. Valuev still carries the physical advantage, but Fury is the only man around today who could come close.

It would be interesting to see what it would look like when a fighter who aims for Valuev’s body doesn’t end up low blowing him, and I would be curious to know how ‘The Russian Giant’ handles fighting someone approaching his own size. Both he and Fury tower over the other heavyweight contenders, but both are also not in the best of shape so it would be battle of the poorly-conditioned giants.

How Would the Fury - Valuev Fight Would Pan Out?

When asked in an interview what the outcome would be on a possible Fury vs Valuev match up, Fury’s promoter Mick Hennessey said that he thinks:
"Fury would do a job on Valuev"
As Hennessey is Fury’s promoter, that is what you would expect him to say. From a fans point of view, I would have to agree with him.

If Valuev was in his “prime” and still fighting regularly after the Haye defeat then the fight would be a lot closer, but the fact that Valuev has had almost 3 years off means his inactivity would count heavily against him. Valuev was already very slow to begin with, but now that he is the wrong side of thirty his hand and foot speed will only get worse.

A reason why Valuev was so successful when he fought was because of his height. In Fury, Valuev would have a foe who he hasn’t got a massive height advantage over, and who is as fast, if not faster, as his past opponents. The big difference for me is Fury’s hand speed advantage which would allow him to throw more punches, and as long as Fury stays out of the way of Valuev’s power punches he should cruise to an easy decision (unless it’s in Germany then it might be a lot closer.)

Going against Fury is his leaky defense which, if he doesn’t improve it, would allow Valuev to have his moments in the fight and he would definitely wobble the Mancunian. We saw in Fury’s recent fight with Nicolai Firtha that the young Brit is vulnerable and leaves himself open to punishment all too often.

What Next for the Winner of Fury vs Valuev

Since all the major belts are held by the Klitschko brothers, the winner of the Fury v Valuev fight wouldn’t become a world champion. This would have to be a title eliminator match, meaning the winner could face one of the Ukrainian brothers in a bid to become the heavyweight world champion.

I think Fury would outbox Valuev with his superior skills and better hand and foot speed, but for me he doesn’t have the power to knockout the beast from the east. I vote for a Fury points decision.

Let me know what you think will happen if the two giants of the heavyweight division ever met in the ring.

Written by Jake Wallwork (@WallworkJake on Twitter)