Promoter Eddie Bazira and Baltic Pro Box Promotions, in association with Real Deal Events LLC, SES Boxing, Fight Production and Risum Boxing, are proud to announce that contracts has been signed for legendary former four-time heavyweight champion of the world Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield to challenge Francois Botha for the South Africans World Boxing Federation World title on January 16 at Nelson Mandela Memorial Stadium in Kampala, Uganda. A sell-out crowd of 80,000 spectators is expected, and details are being finalized for worldwide pay-per-view distribution. Sweden-based Baltic Pro Box Promotions will host several press conferences in the coming days in Kampala to kick off the promotion of what will be the biggest fight ever in Uganda.
Holyfield (47-10-2, 27 KOs) hasn’t boxed since his controversial majority decision loss to giant Nikolay Valuev for the WBA world title last December, and he is hoping that a victory over the man known as “The White Buffalo” (47-4-3, 28 KOs) will put him in line for a shot at WBC champion Vitali Klitschko later in 2010.
“I am very much looking forward to going to Uganda, and I expect a tough fight against Francois Botha. I am going to win, and I will cherish the WBF world title,” said the former undisputed cruiserweight and heavyweight king.
Botha is himself coming off a close battle against a huge opponent, and barely defended the WBF title in October with a draw against 202 cm tall Cuban Pedro Carion, when a hand injury made things extra difficult for him in that fight. He has been cleared by doctors to fight again in January, and wows to do better in what will be his most significant fight since a TKO loss to Wladimir Klitschko in 2002:
“I have always been my own harshest critic. My performance against Carion, without making any excuses, was arguably the worst of my career. Expect the fittest, toughest and best ever, and extremely serious Francois Botha in Uganda in January. I owe my fans and members of Team Botha the performance of my life – I intend to make good on that.”
Promoter Bazira, who is planning to have no less than six title fights on the card, has worked 24/7 for the last month negotiating the terms and conditions to make the fight a reality, and is thrilled that the final details have been ironed out.
“We are proud to be able to present this big fight to not only the people of Uganda but to the people of all of Africa and the rest of the world. Holyfield, the legend that he is, is obviously the bigger name of the two, but Botha, being African, is also very famous in Uganda, and since both of them are real warriors I am sure we will get a fantastic fight and a fantastic event on January 16.”