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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Valuev Retains Title by TKO

As superheavyweight boxer Nikolai Valuev stepped into the ring in Basel, Switzerland, on Saturday evening, it seemed he had finally found someone his own size to pick on.

At 122 kilograms and 1.98 meters, challenger Jameel McCline was the largest opponent Valuev had ever faced.

But the American boxer slipped after missing with a punch and injured his knee at the end of the third round. McCline was unable to continue, handing Valuev the win and allowing him to retain his superheavyweight title.

Standing 2.13 meters tall and weighing in at 145 kilograms, Valuev is known as "The Beast from the East." His bout with McCline, dubbed the "Battle of the Giants," featured a record 267 kilograms of combined boxing brawn.

McCline came out swinging in the first round, but his punches made little impression on Valuev, who appeared comfortable in the opening exchanges. McCline gave as good as he got through three rounds, landing several quality punches to the head and body and showcasing his superior speed and agility.

The St. Petersburg-based fighter kept the American at bay with a series of powerful left-hand jabs, often forcing him into the corners.

But in the final seconds of the third round, "Big Time" McCline missed a punch and fell to the canvas, causing his left kneecap to pop out of place and leaving him unable to stand.

The 9,000 spectators at Saturday's fight, which was televised in Russia on Ren-TV, clearly thought the American fighter had simply lost his balance and that the bout would continue. The audience booed when the referee called off the fight.

"Will there be a rematch?" the ring announcer asked McCline during the post-fight ceremony.

"Maybe," McCline said in a barely audible voice.

Valuyev's promoter, Don King, waved a Russian flag after the decision was announced. The American boxer was removed from the ring on a gurney.

"It's very sad that he got injured. I think the fans were expecting the fight to go a little longer," Valuev said.

In the end, Valuev's trainer, Manvel Gabrielyan, looked to be more tired than his fighter after incessantly shouting davai, or "come on," for most of the fight. He gulped water from Valuev's bottle during the victory announcement.

Valuev is not long on technique, but his sheer size generally allows him to overpower opponents.

"When an opponent gets in the ring [with Valuev], he says to himself: 'Wow.' ... [Valuev's] not technically great, like Muhammed Ali or [Mike] Tyson, but that 'Wow' is enough," Viktor Rybakov, vice president of the Russian Boxing Federation, said on Ren-TV before Saturday's fight.

The technical knock-out extended Valuev's record to 47-0 with 33 KOs.