I can make boxing history, says Holyfield

Former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield said on Monday he was in great shape and could well become the oldest heavyweight world champion when he takes on Russian giant Nikolai Valuev on Saturday.

The 46-year-old American — a four-time world champion who lost his last world title in 2000 and has not fought since he lost to Sultan Ibragimov in Moscow last year — said he was intent on making history.

”I am in great shape,” said the pugilist known as the Real Deal.

”There have been many great fighters in the history of boxing, but nobody managed to win the heavyweight title at the age of 46. I will try to accomplish that.”

Holyfield — who owns a record of 42 wins and 27 KOs with nine defeats, four of which have come in the last six years — said that while Valuev may have a far superior height advantage and be several years younger, he also had things going in his favour.

”Valuev might have same advantages, but there are also some things that will be working in my favour,” said Holyfield, who once had part of his ear bitten off by rival Mike Tyson.

”I will show on Saturday what I mean by that.”

Valuev, who recaptured the WBA title when he beat John Ruiz in Berlin in August this year, didn’t undergo a strenuous workout and revealed that he had other ways of preparing for the fight.

”I go walking, read books and watch a few Russian movies,” said Valuev, who likes reading Leo Tolstoy.

”I will try to relax and get my mind set on Saturday,” added the 35-year-old, who also writes poetry.

Valuev — who owns a record of 49 wins and 34 KOs with one defeat — said whilst he had the utmost respect for Holyfield, he believed he had had an ideal preparation for the title fight.

”He is very experienced,” Valuev said.

”I will not underestimate him and I am fully aware that I need to perform very well to beat him. But as you can see I am highly concentrated. I believe I have done everything I need to do in order to leave the ring victorious on Saturday night.”

The clash will take place in Zurich’s Hallenstadion where Muhammad Ali stopped German heavyweight Jurgen Blin in the seventh round of their meeting in 1971. — Sapa-AFP

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