Holyfield to fight against Botha for title in Uganda


Sat, Jan 02, 2010 - Page 20

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.