BERLIN - John Ruiz lost the WBA heavyweight title Saturday night, dropping a disputed majority decision to 7-foot Nikolay Valuev of Russia.
Valuev, who becomes the tallest and heaviest (323 pounds) champion of all-time, 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.”
“I am not going to make second guesses,” King said of the verdict. “Valuev is the eighth world wonder and he will get the chance to unify all champions. He will rise to new heights. I will take him to America or wherever he wants to fight.”
Ruiz’s bitterly disappointed manager, Norman Stone, grabbed the title belt away from Valuev after the fight and ran around the ring holding it over his head until five ring bodyguards forcibly took it back. 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.
Markus Schreiber / AP
Norman Stone, left, manager of John Ruiz, fights with an unidentified man after Stone grabbed the championship belt after Nikolay Valuev won the WBA heavyweight title.
“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.
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