BERLIN, August 31 (RIA Novosti) – Russian boxer Nikolai Valuev has beaten American John Ruiz in Berlin to reclaim the WBA title.
The judges’ decision to declare a Valuev victory at the Max Schmeling arena late on Saturday was unanimous. However, there was some initial confusion when the fight was at first declared, in what turned out to be a mix-up, a split decision.
Valuev weighed in 40 kg (88.2 lbs) heavier than his Puerto Rican-American opponent.
“It is great to have the title back and I am very happy about it,” said Valuev after the fight.
The seven-foot (2.13-meter) Valuev became Russia’s first world heavyweight champion in December 2005 when he defeated Ruiz. In April last year he lost his title to Ruslan ‘White Tyson’ Chagaev from Uzbekistan.
Since then Chagaev has defended his title once, but a torn achilles tendon forced a delay in his mandatory challenge bout against Valuev. On July 4, the WBA decided to sanction a match against the Russian’s closest contender, John Ruiz.
Chagaev is currently what the WBA calls a “champion in recess,” and Valuev will now have to face Chagaev before June 26, 2009, if the Uzbek manages to get fighting fit by then. (Link)
30/08/2008 17:07 BERLIN, August 30 (RIA Novosti) – The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has accumulated evidence pointing to “numerous wrong decisions” made by Georgian leaders that led to a military crisis with Russia, Der Spiegel said on Saturday.
In a report to be published in its Monday edition, OSCE military observers in the Caucasus described detailed planning by Georgia to move into South Ossetia which contributed to the crisis, the German magazine said.
The report also backed up Russian claims that the Georgian offensive was already in full swing by the time Russian troops and armored vehicles entered the Roksky Tunnel, on the border with Russia and South Ossetia, to protect its peacekeepers and the civilian population.
The OSCE report also contains suspected war crimes committed by Georgians, who ordered attacks on sleeping South Ossetian civilians.
Georgia attacked South Ossetia on August 8 in an attempt to regain control over the separatist republic, which split from Tbilisi in the early 1990s.
Most people living in South Ossetia have Russian citizenship and Moscow subsequently launched an operation to “force Georgia to accept peace.” The operation was concluded on August 12.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed decrees Tuesday recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states and called on other countries to follow suit.
Russia has accused Georgia of committing “genocide” by launching the offensive in South Ossetia. Russia is calling for an international war crimes trial for the Georgian leadership, which Moscow says is responsible for massive loss of life in South Ossetia.