Hall of Fame boxer George Foreman was 48 years old when he fought for the last time in 1998. On December 20, Evander Holyfield will return to the ring just two years younger in a heavyweight bout against 7-foot Russian WBA champion Nikolai Valuev in Zurich, Switzerland.
Holyfield, who is possibly best known for having parts of his ear getting bitten off in a battle against Mike Tyson, hopes to become at age 46 the oldest boxer to claim a world heavyweight crown. He would also be the first to win the title five times.
“My goal is to be undisputed champion not just to win one title. I think people make too much about age. I haven’t fought in a year but I will be ready,’’ Holyfield told a news conference on Tuesday in Zurich.
This bout shows in just how much trouble the boxing world finds itself with much more support heading toward Mixed Martial Arts.
It seems ironic that it is Holyfield returning to the ring as an old man, since he admitted in Zurich that he really didn’t want to fight against a 42-year-old Foreman in 1990. Holyfield told the reporters: “I didn’t want to fight him. My manager said he [Foreman] earned his shot so do it. I did and it was a tough fight.”
Holyfield last lost the WBA title in 2000 to John Ruiz.
In 2007, Holyfield beat Vinny Maddalone and Lou Savarese before losing to Sultan Ibragimov in his last fight in October 2007.