LAS VEGAS (August 9, 2006) – Two-time world heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz (41-6-1, 28 KOs) has accepted the challenge offered by the World Boxing Association to fight No. 2 rated challenger Ruslan “White Tyson” Chagaev (21-0-1, 17 KOs) in an elimination bout to determine the organization’s official No. 1 heavyweight contender.
The WBA notified No. 1 rated Ruiz and Chagaev of its Championship Committee’s decision for an elimination bout, based on rule 10.3, and urged promoters Don King (Ruiz) and Klaus Peter Kohl (Chagaev) to begin
negotiations and make necessary arrangements to stage the 12-round elimination fight. The WBA gave each fighter until August 10 to determine if they are interested in participating in the elimination bout.
Ruiz lost a controversial majority decision to WBA heavyweight champion Nicolay Valuev last December in Berlin. Valuev’s mandatory title defense is due by December 17.
“Valuev has my belt,” Ruiz said. “If I can’t get him to fight me instead of (Monte) Barrett in October, I really don’t have a much of a choice, so we’ve informed the WBA of our willingness to fight Chagaev in the elimination fight. It’s obvious that Valuev doesn’t want to fight me. He knows that Im really beat him in his backyard. The decision was so bad everybody in the entire Berlin stadium was booing.”
Chagaev, a southpaw from Uzebekistan, now fights out of Germany. He is the reigning WBA Intercontinental heavyweight champion.
Ruiz plans on returning to the gym this week in Las Vegas or Puerto Rico.