May 16, 2009

World Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield to fight Ethiopia exhibition bout in July

Holyfield to fight Ethiopia exhibition bout in July

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) — Former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield will fight an exhibition match in Ethiopia in July to help raise funds for AIDS victims, promoters announced Friday.

The 46-year-old will take on Ethiopian-born American Sammy Retta in Addis Ababa on July 26, in what will be the Horn of Africa nation's first ever showpiece boxing bout.

"The two boxers and their team will arrive in Addis Ababa on May 17th to conclude a contract and for promotional purposes before the match on July 26," promoter Eshetu Belay told a press conference.

The match will cost organisers upto seven million dollars, Eshetu said, but declined to disclose how much Holyfield would receive in appearance money.

"Evander showed extreme enthusiasm to fight for the first time in Africa. He is very much delighted to be part of such a worthy cause," Eshetu added.

His scheduled opponent is a 35-year-old super-middleweight.

The four-time world champion last fought a competitive match at the end of last year when he lost in controversial circumstances to Russian Sultan Ibragimov in an attempt to clinch an unprecedented fifth title.

Holyfield is best remembered for having his ear bitten off by Mike Tyson in 1997 in a match which was later coined as the "The Bite Fight".

The fight would rank as one of the highest-profile all-American boxing bouts on African soil since the legendary 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" that pitted Muhammad Ali against Joe Frazier in the former Zaire.

Copyright © 2009 AFP.

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