Holyfield after Botha's title

2010-04-08 18:55

Las Vegas - Francois Botha and Evander Holyfield, both well beyond their best, meet in Las Vegas on Saturday night in a bout for the South African's World Boxing Foundation heavyweight belt.

Holyfield, 47 years old, has already been advised to retire but in his most recent fight he was unlucky not to get the decision against WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev.

The American, who is likely to join other famous fighters in the Hall of Fame one day, is probably still fighting because he needs the money.

His record now stands at 42-10-2, with 27 knockouts. He has won only seven of his last 16 fights.

Against the slow and ponderous Valuev he put up a reasonable performance. Now, at the Thomas and Mack Centre, he takes on a 41-year-old opponent who has a record of 47-4-3; 28.

Botha has been an underrated fighter for most of his career and he has some good wins on his record. That he is past his prime was clear, however, when he drew against an eight-fight novice, Pedro Carrion, in October last year.

Botha has not fought since then and Holyfield has been inactive for 15 months, but the American is expected to be in better condition than Botha and could win a slow-paced fight on points.

In another title fight on Saturday night, Andre Berto (25-0; 19) from Haiti defends his WBC welterweight belt against former WBO welterweight champion Carlos Quintana (27-2; 21) of Puerto Rico. They meet in Sunrise, Florida.

Quintana is a slick southpaw who moves well, and the powerful and younger Berto will have to be smart to retain his title.

On the same card Cellestino Caballero (33-2; 23) and Daud Yordan (25-0; 19) meet for the interim WBA featherweight title.

In Levallois-Perret, France, Souleymane M’Baye and Antonin Decarie meet for the WBA interim welterweight title in in an interesting match-up, also on Saturday night.