Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tonight: Evander Holyfield Faces Vinny Maddalone

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS (TICKER) -- A steroid scandal put Evander Holyfield back in the headlines. But the former four-time heavyweight champion would rather make headlines in the ring.

The 44-year-old Holyfield will face Vinny Maddalone in a 10-round heavyweight fight tonight.

Beginning a comeback that has been titled "Holyfield V, The Final Chapter," Holyfield recorded a technical knockout of Jeremy Bates in the second round in August and won a 12-round decision over Fres Oquendo in November.

Those wins didn't get much attention, but Holyfield drew plenty of media attention after the Albany Times Union reported on February 28 that he allegedly was included on client lists for a pharmacy in Alabama whose two owners have been indicted for providing steroids and human growth hormone.

Holyfield (40-8-2) immediately issued a statement through his promotional company Main Events vehemently denying steroid use.

"I do not use steroids," Holyfield said. "I have never used steroids. I resent that my name has been linked to known steroid users by sources who refuse to be identified in order to generate publicity for their investigation."

Holyfield hopes to unify the heavyweight titles before retiring in 2008. His bid comes less than three years after New York boxing officials revoked his license to fight in that state, citing diminished skills.

Maddalone (27-3, 19 KOs) had a no decision in his last fight against Julius Long on December 15. Prior to that, he had won six of seven fights, including five knockouts. Maddalone hopes a win against Holyfield will lead to a title shot.

"That's all I'm looking at," Madalone said. "Since I first put the gloves on, this is all I've dreamed of. I definitely respect Evander as a fighter, but once the bell rings, it's all business."

A loss to Larry Donald in November 2004 led to Holyfield's license being revoked by New York officials.

In October 1990, Holyfield became the undisputed heavyweight champ when he scored a third-round knockout of Buster Douglas to capture the WBA, WBC and IBF belts.


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