Tuesday, June 18, 2024  |


Holyfield eyes Botha rematch, then Povetkin

Fighters Network

Evander Holyfield is in negotiations with Sauerland Promotions for a chance to face newly-crowned WBA “regular” beltholder Alexander Povetkin in December or February, the four-time heavyweight titleholder told RingTV.com on Monday.

Holyfield (44-10-2, 29 knockouts) was at ringside in Th├╝ringen, Germany when the 31-year-old Povetkin (22-0, 15 KOs) unanimously decisioned Ruslan Chagaev (27-2-1, 17 KOs) for the vacant belt on Saturday night.

“We are negotiating. We’ve spoken two or three times. That was their whole point in bringing me over there. They paid for everything to get me over there because they wanted me to fight the winner,” said Holyfield of Sauerland Promotions.

“Their big thing is knowing that I’m a draw over there. These two guys are young and all of that, but nobody knows them. Their fans were very nice. The reception was overwhelming. All of the fans of Chagaev and Povetkin, they were calling me their favorite fighter.”

Holyfield, who turns 49 in October, has won two straight fights since last suffering a disputed majority decision loss in a failed bid to earn the WBA belt from 7-foot Nikolay Valuev (50-2, 34 KOs), who out-weighed him, 310-to-214, when they fought in December of 2008.

The 6-foot-3 Holyfield sees himself as a good match against Povetkin, a former Olympic gold medalist.

“Povetkin and myself, we’re about the same height. He don’t jab much. He can take a punch and moves in and out, but there’s nothing really super that he does,” said Holyfield.

“I know that if I jab, he’s going to hook, try to do some counters. He’s not overly aggressive. He moves sometimes. I’ve been fighting a long time, and I’ve just got to be in shape to be able to get a good lead.”

Holyfield is coming off of a 10th-round knockout over Brian Nielsen (64-3, 43 KOs) in May. The win over Nielsen helped Holyfield to rebound from a fourth-round, no-contest against Sherman Williams in January.

Against Williams, Holyfield complained to corner man Tommy Brooks of being blinded by blood that dripped into his left eye from a cut that resulted from an accidental clash of heads during the second round.

Holyfield is planning on a return bout against 42-year-old Francois Botha (48-5-3, 29 KOs) in Johannesburg, South Africa in an Oct. 22 rematch of Holyfield’s eighth-round knockout of Botha in April.

“They were asking me about fighting Povetkin, but I told them that I couldn’t get too far ahead of myself because I’m still fighting in October,” said Holyfield.

“I’m not so anxious that they can’t pay good money for the fight. You need to pay me for who I am. We’ll just have to see what’s going on after October. I’m just taking one fight at a time.”

Holyfield would like to get one of the either of the Ukranian sibling beltholders, Vitali Klitschko (42-2, 39 KOs), of the WBC, or, Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs), holder of the WBO, IBF and WBA “super” title.

The 40-year-old Vitali Klitschko will make his sixth defense against 34-year-old Tomasz Adamek (43-1, 28 KOs) in Wroclaw, Poland on Sept. 10.

Klitschko has won 10 straight fights during a run that has included eight knockouts, and Adamek has won sixth consecuve bouts as a heavyweight, and 14 straight overall.

Adamek is unbeaten since February 2007 when he was dethroned as WBC light heavyweight titlist by Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs).

Adamek is after his first crown since winning the IBF cruiser weight belt by split-decision over Steve Cunningham in December 2008 and defending it twice.

The 35-year-old Wladimir Klitschko has a 14-fight winning streak that includes 10 stoppages. Wladimir Klitschko is coming off of a unanimous decision that dethroned David Haye (25-2, 23 KOs) as WBA titleholder last month.

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]