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Valuev: Inspired by Muhammad Ali!

Press Release: Imagine seven-footer Nikolai Valuev as a track and field athlete. It could have happened if a teenage Valuev didn't become inspired by watching tapes of Muhammad Ali. In an interview with a German journalist, Valuev credited the Greatest for getting him into the sweet science. "As a matter of fact, it was Muhammad Ali, who got me started in boxing," he said. "I moved away from home and into a sports boarding school at the age of 13. Back then I was in track and field. Often, my trainer would show us videos of Ali's fights in the evening – I was fascinated to the point that boxing became both my sport and my passion." The WBA heavyweight titlist also told the German interviewer about his career goal. "Any world champion naturally dreams of winning all four belts and becoming the super champion of the world. That is, of course, a question of the right management – but definitely a realistic goal from an athletic viewpoint.