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Page last updated at 13:55 GMT, Thursday, 9 October 2008 14:55 UK

Veteran Holyfield gets title shot

Nikolai Valuev and Evander Holyfield
Nikolai Valuev
Age: 35 Height: 7ft
Reach: 85ins

Evander Holyfield
Age: 46 Height: 6ft 2ins
Reach: 78ins

Evander Holyfield will take on Russia's WBA champion Nikolai Valuev as he bids to become the oldest heavyweight title-holder in history.

The 46-year-old former champion will meet Valuev on 20 December at the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland.

Holyfield has not fought since losing an unanimous decision to then-WBO champion Sultan Ibragimov a year ago.

Fellow American George Foreman was 45 when he knocked out Michael Moorer in 1994 to win the IBF and WBA crowns.

Holyfield will be a massive underdog against Valuev, who is more than 100 pounds heavier and stands a towering 7ft tall.

The Russian regained the WBA title he lost to Ruslan Chagaev in April 2007 with a win over John Ruiz in August this year.

"I'm taking this fight very seriously," said Valuev who holds a 49-1 record with 34 knockouts.

"Holyfield is a strong opponent, and 10 years ago I would not have dreamed of getting into the ring with this champion."

American Holyfield has been crowned world champion on four occasions, but since 2001, he has won only five of 11 fights. He currently holds a 49-9-2 career record.


He began his professional career in 1984 beating Lionel Byram on points having also won an Olympic bronze medal that year.

Holyfield went on to fight the likes of George Foreman, Riddick Bowe, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis in a glittering career.

He won his first heavyweight title in 1990 beating James Douglas having won previous world titles at cruiserweight.

One of the most notorious incidents in his 24-year career came in 1997 when Holyfield had part of his ear bitten off by Tyson during a fight in Las Vegas.

see also
Valuev beats Ruiz to take crown
30 Aug 08 |  Boxing
Chagaev points win stuns Valuev
14 Apr 07 |  Boxing
Tyson-Holyfield rematch slammed
28 Feb 08 |  Boxing

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