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Page last updated at 20:27 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 21:27 UK

Chagaev pulled from Valuev fight

Ruslan Chagaev
Chagaev pulled put of a fight in 2007 after contracting hepatitis B

Nikolay Valuev's defence of his WBA heavyweight crown has been called off after opponent Ruslan Chagaev failed a medical on the eve of the fight.

Their bout was due to take place in the Finnish capital Helsinki on Saturday.

Finnish law dictates details of the failed test cannot be revealed, but a statement said Chagaev was unable to "fulfil the federation's requirements".

A statement from Valuev's promoters said: "Our top priority is Nikolai's health and it could not be guaranteed."

In 2007, Chagaev pulled out of a unification bout against then-WBO champion Sultan Ibragimov. It was widely reported at the time that he had contracted hepatitis B.

Valuev, who had been hoping to avenge his only professional defeat, said: "I would have loved to make this fight but given the circumstances it is not possible."

Unbeaten Uzbekistani Chagaev, 30, won a majority decision over 7ft Valuev in Stuttgart in April 2007.

But after Chagaev was named "champion in recess", Valuev regained his crown when he beat John Ruiz in August 2008.

"That loss still haunts me, now is the time to finally set the record straight," Valuev said prior to the fight being called off.

Chagaev was given the label of "champion in recess" by the WBA after he failed to defend his title on two occasions against Valuev because of injury.

Valuev went on to make an unimpressive defence against four-time former world champion Evander Holyfield last December.

Chagaev, who has a record of 25 wins and one draw in a 26-fight career, returned from his Achilles injury with a technical decision win over Costa Rica's Carl Davis Drumond in February.

see also
WBA to investigate Valuev victory
30 Dec 08 |  Boxing
Valuev ends Holyfield title dream
20 Dec 08 |  Boxing
Klitschko hopes for Valuev fight
12 Oct 08 |  Boxing
Valuev beats Ruiz to take crown
30 Aug 08 |  Boxing
Chagaev given deadline to defend
05 Jul 08 |  Boxing
Chagaev points win stuns Valuev
14 Apr 07 |  Boxing

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