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WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev is so focused on practice that he will find no time to celebrate Russian Christmas this weekend. "I need to shift my full concentration to the fight against McCline," the Russian Giant vowed. "I don´t have no time for any festivities right now. I have to get myself ready."

While his countrymen will be enjoying their Christmas break on January 6/7 (in accordance with the Julian calendar), Valuev (45-0, 33 KOs) will continue his sparring activities in Berlin´s famous Max-Schmeling-Gym. "Everything is going according to plan," he said. "I feel in good shape. I´m in the right frame of mind."

It´s not that the biggest (7ft) and tallest (330 lbs) heavyweight champion of all-time has not been granted some time off after weeks of hard preparations. With his family in town, he took a brief time-out on New Year´s Eve. "After all the hard work in St. Petersburg I felt I deserved a little rest," Valuev said. "I was sparring again on January 1. But with just two weeks between now and the fight, I can´t risk losing my rhythm."

Valuev will clash with fellow giant Jameel McCline (6`6, 265 lbs) in Basle, Switzerland on January 20. "He´s one tough guy," added the undefeated champion. "It will be a very interesting bout."
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