Nikolay Valuev is the tallest (7 feet) and heaviest (323 pounds) world champion in history. He’s so big he usually steps into the ring over the top rope to enter the ring.
Valuev has a furrowed brow, even when he isn’t trying to look tough. Even his smiles seemed a little menacing, as if they were something he would do right before he inflicted pain.
While he had a shaven head, he was never quick to remove the hair that covered his upper body. It was thick enough to be plaited.
To the rest of the world, Valuev, 32, is known as the “Beast from the East” (promoter Don King wanted to call him “King Kong” when he fought in the U.S.), but in his homeland, he is more often known as the “Russian Giant.”
His brain is played up here as much as his brawn — a boxer who reads Tolstoy and writes poetry to his wife? — along with his diffident, quiet personality.
After he retired he became a member of the United Russia party. It didn’t take him long to make a big impression—according to RT.com, he had to have a special chair made for him in parliament’s lower chamber.
“I don’t know about the world, but here in Russia, he’s been very famous for a long time. For the kids here, this is such an emotional thing,” said Alexei Barsukov, a former trainer speaking with the LA Times.
“You can’t impose your own manner of fighting on him, and that’s because of his life position. He’s very calm, and very, very controlled,” Barsukov said.
You have a person born with such a physique once in a hundred years. Such a build, and such an intellect — Russia may not get another such man in our lifetimes.”
Whilst not a spectacular boxer, Valuev was not without some skill and amassed a professional career consisting of 50 Wins (34 Knockouts), 2 Losses, 1 No Contest.