Continuing his quest for another heavyweight title, Evander Holyfield is “close” to arriving at a deal with Sauerland Promotions to face newly-crowned WBA “regular” beltholder Alexander Povetkin on Dec. 17 in Zurich, Switzerland, a source familiar with the negotiations informed RingTV.com.
Their bout would take place at Hallenstadion, where Holyfield (44-10-2, 29 KOs) last suffered a disputed majority decision loss to 7-foot Nikolay Valuev (50-2, 34 KOs), who out-weighed him 310-to-214, when they fought in December of 2008 for the WBA belt.
A four-time heavyweight titleholder, Holyfield told RingTV.com last month that he was trying to work out a shot at the 32-year-old Povetkin (22-0, 15 KOs) days after having been ringside in Thüringen Germany when the Russian unanimously decisioned Ruslan Chagaev (27-2-1, 17 KOs) for the vacant belt on Aug. 27.
“We are negotiating. We’ve spoken two or three times. That was their whole point in bringing me over there. They paid for everything to get me over there because they wanted me to fight the winner,” said Holyfield, referring to Sauerland Promotions.
“Their big thing is knowing that I’m a draw over there. These two guys are young and all of that, but nobody knows them. Their fans were very nice. The reception was overwhelming. All of the fans of Chagaev and Povetkin, they were calling me their favorite fighter.”
The 6-foot-3 Holyfield, who turns 49 on Oct. 19, has won two straight fights since losing to Valuev and sees himself as a good match against Povetkin, a former Olympic gold medalist.
“Povetkin and myself, we’re about the same height. He don’t jab much. He can take a punch and moves in and out, but there’s nothing really super that he does,” said Holyfield.
“I know that if I jab, he’s going to hook, try to do some counters. He’s not overly aggressive. He moves sometimes. I’ve been fighting a long time, and I’ve just got to be in shape to be able to get a good lead.”
Holyfield is coming off of a 10th-round knockout over Brian Nielsen (64-3, 43 KOs) in May. The win over Nielsen helped Holyfield to rebound from a fourth-round, no-contest against Sherman Williams in January.
Against Williams, Holyfield complained to corner man Tommy Brooks of being blinded by blood from a cut caused by an accidental clash of heads during the second round.
Holyfield had planned on a return in October with a rematch against 42-year-old Francois Botha (48-5-3, 29 KOs) in Johannesburg, South Africa, but has since scuttled that notion. He scored an eighth-round knockout over Botha in April of 2010.
Holyfield would like to get a shot at either of the Ukranian sibling beltholders, Vitali Klitschko (43-2, 40 KOs), who holds the WBC title, or Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs), holder of the WBO, IBF and WBA “super” titles.
The 40-year-old Vitali Klitschko made his sixth defense with a 10th round knockout of 34-year-old Tomasz Adamek (43-2, 28 KOs) in Wroclaw, Poland on Sept. 10. It was his 11th straight win and 40th overall stoppage, bringing his career knockout percentage to an unrivaled 89 percent.
The 35-year-old Wladimir Klitschko has a 14-fight winning streak that includes 10 stoppages. His last win came by unanimous decision over then-WBA titleholder David Haye (25-2, 23 KOs) last month.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org