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'Russian Giant' Valuev opens boxing school in St. Petersburg


MOSCOW, February 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's WBA Heavyweight Champion Nikolai Valuev has opened a professional boxing school in his hometown of St. Petersburg, the boxer's website said on Tuesday.

The school, which will be under Valuev's personal supervision, is situated near the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station in the southeast of Russia's second largest city and is currently open to boys aged eight and older.

Valuev became Russia's first world heavyweight champion in December 2005 when he defeated John Ruiz. In 2007 he was just a few steps behind the record of legendary Rocky Marciano, who retired with a 49-0 record as the only ever undefeated heavyweight champion, but lost his title bout to Ruslan "White Tyson" Chagaev of Uzbekistan, suffering his first and so far only defeat.

Valuev, dubbed the Russian Giant, and Chagaev later scheduled a rematch, which did not take place due to Chagaev's injury and the Uzbek boxer was announced champion in recess. Last December Valuev defeated former U.S. world champion Evander Holyfield on points in a bout in Switzerland.

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