Atlas refused to travel to Moscow to prepare Povetkin for his bout with Germany’s Marco Huck on Saturday, claiming that the fighter had agreed to train with him in United States because of Atlas’ work as an ESPN pundit.
"Teddy Atlas, of course, undermined him by not taking part in the preparation for the fight,” said Valuev, who retired in 2009 and later entered politics.
Valuev, known as the Beast from the East, said that a Russian trainer wouldn't have abandoned Povetkin in favor of media work.
“We don’t put money above all else. It’s important, but not so important that you take your trainee and cast him aside in such a trivial manner before a crucial fight.”
Povetkin is now working with Russian trainer Alexander Zimin, who was drafted in at short notice.
Atlas has denied any wrongdoing, saying that he is only free to visit Russia when his contract with ESPN is not in effect, and that the Povetkin camp had agreed to that arrangement.
Valuev, meanwhile, likened the Povetkin-Huck matchup to that of his bout against David Haye in 2009, saying both encounters pitted big Russian heavyweights against leaner, quicker ex-cruiserweights.
“Huck is a quick boxer, he’s a cruiser. I myself fought a similar type of boxer in David Haye and know what the deal is,” he said.
Valuev predicted that Povetkin would suffer a barrage of blows in the early rounds but come good when stamina comes into play in the latter stages.
"Huck has good speed but the weight difference will come into play in Alex’s favor.”
Povetkin, 32, took the vacant WBA title by defeating Ruslan Chagaev in August.
Povetkin is unbeaten in 23 fights, with 16 wins by knockout, and the bout with Huck (35-1) will be his second title defense after beating U.S. fighter Cedric Boswell in Helsinki in December.
The 38-year-old Valuev first held the WBA title in 2005 when he beat John Ruiz, before losing the belt to Chagaev in 2007. He regained the vacant title in 2008 against Ruiz, and retired three days after his defeat to Haye in 2009.
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