A promotional video is out, the negotiations appear to be to the affirmative, and as far as Evander Holyfield is concerned, a deal is all but complete with Sauerland Promotions for him to face newly-crowned WBA “regular” beltholder Alexander Povetkin on Dec. 17 in Zurich, Switzerland.
It’s the “but” in that sentence that is beginning to bother Holyfield, who turns 49 years old on Oct. 19, and is slowly growing impatient for his opportunity to earn a “major” heavyweight title for the fifth time since his career began on Nov. 15, 1984 — nearly 27 years ago.
“I think that the fight is going to come about,” said Holyfield. “I would say that it’s close and that it’s going to happen.”
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.
“I mean, I even see where they’ve put a video out on it. So they’re promoting it, and they’ve got everybody over there geared up. They just ain’t telling me about all of that, but I’m working out regardless anyway,” said Holyfield, who trying to obtain a written offer.
“We’ve had conversations about what they’re going to pay and the Pay Per View and all of that, it’s just nothing’s been signed yet.”
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,” said Holyfield, referring to Sauerland Promotions. “They paid for everything to get me over there because they wanted me to fight the winner.”
The 6-foot-3 Holyfield said he and his manager, Ken Sanders, still are trying to work out the final details with Sauerland’s America-based promoter Don Majeski.
“I’m still talking to their promoter, Don Majeski, who pretty much does their United States promotional work. He said that everything is on,” said Holyfield, a winner of two straight fights since losing to Valuev and sees himself as a good match against Povetkin, a former Olympic gold medalist.
“My only thing is that they haven’t set up a press conference and any of that. They only thing is that they still haven’t put it on paper. They still haven’t given me confirmation for any press conference or anything. That should be here. That should be signed up and work up and all of that and ready to go.”
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