Holyfield eyes another heavyweight title

Evander Holyfield is trying to do more than become the first five-time heavyweight champion.

updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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New York:

Evander Holyfield is trying to do more than become the first five-time heavyweight champion. At 44, he's trying to show he's still a force, less than three years after New York boxing officials revoked his license because of "diminished skills and poor performance". "I want to be the two-time undisputed heavyweight champion," Holyfield said on Tuesday at a news conference. Holyfield began his comeback last year with two wins, and will next fight New Yorker Vinny Maddalone on March 17 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Holyfield (40-8-2, 26 KOs) looks at the nontitle fight - his third as a pro in Corpus Christi - as part of his effort to unify the heavyweight titles and retire in 2008. " "I've been shooting for this goal ever since 1993," he said. It's been nearly 17 years since he held the undisputed title when he defeated James "Buster" Douglas - the holder of the IBF, WBC and WBA crowns - in three rounds. He's defeated 16 world champions, including bouts with Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Riddick Bowe and Larry Holmes. Perhaps his most famous bout was in 1997, when Tyson bit Holyfield's ear. What is Holyfield's incentive, after earning four titles and up to $20 million a fight? "Whether I'm going to fight for a $20 million fight or a $50 dollar fight or just the sparring section, I'm going to give quality," Holyfield said. "It's about the performance." "My mother taught me you have to have a beginning and you have to have an end," he added. "She said, 'What is your end? I said 'My end is to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.' In 35 years of me boxing, I'm just trying to end like I'm supposed to." A loss to Larry Donald in November 2004 prompted New York officials to shut him down. Holyfield received a medical suspension that stopped him from fighting anywhere in the country, but it was later changed to a New York State ban. Maddalone (27-3, 19 knockouts) is a 33-year-old brawler who has stopped 14 opponents within the first two rounds.