Holyfield vs Botha 2 - Oct 22Written by Leroy Cleveland
Four-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, seen at ringside last night at the Povetkin-Chagaev card in Germany, said last week he'll rematch four-time world heavyweight title challenger Francois Botha later this year.
(FightSaga.com has no official confirmation on who Holyfield will fight next but in lieu of Holyfield's attendance for the Povetkin vs Chagaev card, we want to address some rumors and share what we learned earlier this week. Keep in mind, things in boxing can change by the minute. Here's what we know as of August 27...)
According to Evander Holyfield and New Zealand's Business Day, the boxing legend and four-time heavyweight champion will rematch Francois Botha October 22.
"The fight will go ahead, and that is the date we're looking at," a lawyer for promoters LNBG, Marco Voller, told Business Day yesterday. Asked via e-mail whether it was true that Holyfield would be in action against Botha in South Africa on October 22, the American's lawyer, Horace W Marcell, confirmed the details of the bout.
And last week, FightSaga.com reached out to Holyfield via Facebook and the 'Real Deal' confirmed Botha as his next opponent.
According to Business Day, Botha has "unfinished business" with Holyfield. "We were supposed to fight 10 years ago, but he pulled out to fight John Ruiz — and for less money," Botha said Wednesday.
When Botha and Holyfield fought in April 2010, the big South African was ahead on two of the judges' scorecards when he was decked - and eventually stopped - by Holyfield in the 8th Round.
Botha said of Holyfield, "It was actually one of my easier fights, because he moves back and forth and not from side to side."
"But I had problems with my hands that night."
In June, Flo Simba (10-1, 9 KOs), a promising, previously unbeaten 21 year old South African heavyweight was 'taken to school' by the veteran Botha who handed Simba his first defeat as a pro. Simba was jolted by two big right hands in the sixth from the 42 year old and was seemingly out on his feet.
Prior to the Simba TKO, Botha's most recent fight was an 8th round TKO loss to Evander Holyfield in April, 2010. That bout saw "The Real Deal" Holyfield (44-10-2, 29 KO's) claim the lightly regarded WBF heavyweight title.
Now, Francois Botha (48-5-3-1NC, 29 KOs) will apparently get another crack at Holyfield in October.
Despite his age and war-torn body, the 48 year old Holyfield has been active and relatively productive the last five years.
Since 2006, Evander is 6-2-0-1NC with 3 KOs. His only loses since that time were to then WBO heavyweight champion Sultan Ibragimov by unanimous decision in 2007 and, a year later, a majority decision loss to the reigning WBA heavyweight champion at that time, Nicolay Valuev.
Holyfield was competitive in losing to Ibragimov and, by most accounts, was badly robbed in his majority decision loss to Valuev.
In May, Holyfield dominated Brian Nielsen in route to a fairly impressive 10th round TKO and is hoping to land one more title shot in 2012 against either of the Kllitschko brothers or perhaps Alexander Povetkin.
Botha turns 43 in September and the 'Real Deal' will be an agile 49 October 19.
Quotes provided by Business Day.