Sat, Jan 02, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Holyfield to fight against Botha for title in Uganda


Evander Holyfield will challenge Francois Botha for the lightly regarded WBF world heavyweight title in Uganda on Jan. 16 in his latest bid to regain credibility as a big draw in the ring.

Organizers for the fight at Kampala’s Nambole Stadium said on Thursday that both boxers had signed contracts. They predicted a crowd of 80,000 fans and the potential of a big pay-per-view payout for the cash-strapped Holyfield, a former four-time world champion who has won only five of his last 12 contests.

Holyfield (42-10 with 2 draws) has not fought since losing a points decision to Nikolai Valuev a year ago.

Holyfield twice faced foreclosure on his estate in suburban Atlanta over a default on a US$10 million loan and, although his money woes have since eased, he has to get back to facing more credible opponents than Botha.

Holyfield has earned more than US$200 million in the ring, including a reported US$34 million for his second bout with Mike Tyson in 1997.

Holyfield’s last two fights were losses to Sultan Ibragimov and then to Valuev, a majority decision he disputed.

Botha is 47-4 with three draws.

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