Holyfield-Botha fight in Uganda called off
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) – Evander Holyfield is still planning to return to the ring, it will just be a little closer to home.
The former heavyweight champion’s manager, Ken Sanders, said Thursday that a fight against Francois Botha scheduled for Feb. 20 in Uganda was called off when promoters were unable to deliver a promised pre-fight payment.
Sanders said Holyfield will instead fight Botha on March 6, possibly in Miami.
“We spent about two months waiting on them to wire us the upfront money and they never did,” Sanders said. “So in the meantime we started working on a fight over here. We’re in the process of getting this closed, hopefully this week.”
Holyfield has had other fights canceled in South Korea and Ethiopia when financing fell through. Holyfield (42-10-2) has lost five of his last nine bouts, and has not fought since losing a points decision to Nikolai Valuev a year ago.
After the long wait, Holyfield now plans two fights in two months.
Besides the fight against Botha, Sanders told The Associated Press that the 47-year-old Holyfield will also face Derric Rossy on April 24 in Las Vegas. Rossy knocked out Alexis Mejias in the first round Wednesday night in New York.
“I’m telling you, this man is unreal,” Sanders said of Holyfield, who has said he wants to fight until he’s 50 – regardless of any often-publicized money problems. “He’s the most unusual man I’ve ever seen in my life. He’s in phenomenal condition as we speak. He trains almost every day and he could go today and fight 12 rounds. He amazes me.”
Sanders said Holyfield has “no pains, no nothing.”
“He went through a stretch for three or four years where there were different things wrong with him and he would fight and he would lose when he probably shouldn’t fight to begin with,” Sanders said. “But he did.”