Chagaev Out; Holyfield To Fight Ibragimov On Oct. 13 In Moscow

evander holyfieldHOLLYWOOD, FL, August 2 – After the sudden withdrawal of WBA Heavyweight Champion Ruslan Chagaev from his October 13th unification bout with WBO Heavyweight Champion Sultan Ibragimov due to undisclosed medical reasons, Seminole Warriors Boxing, Golden Boy Promotions, Main Events and Golden Grain Promotions, in association with Sampson Lewkowicz and Yuri Federov’s Sports Lab, are pleased to announce that stepping up to the plate in an attempt to win the heavyweight championship of the world for a fifth time is Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield.

Ibragimov-Holyfield sponsored by Nafta Moskva, will take place on the original date of Ibragimov-Chagaev, Saturday, October 13, at the state of the art Khodynka Arena in Moscow, Russia. Broadcast plans for the bout will be announced once they are secured.

“When a fighter pulls out of a major fight, it’s always a headache for the other fighter and the promoter, but this time, we have been able to put together another historic bout for fight fans as Evander Holyfield fights in Russia for the first time in his professional career and tries to make history by taking Sultan Ibragimov’s heavyweight title. This will be an unforgettable night,” said Leon Margules, Executive Director of Seminole Warriors Boxing.

Holyfield (42-8-2, 27 KOs), the four-time world heavyweight champion and former undisputed world cruiserweight champion, has already carved out a place for himself in boxing’s Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York with his stellar career, which includes wins over Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Riddick Bowe, Michael Moorer, John Ruiz, and Hasim Rahman. But “The Real Deal” has plenty of fight left, and currently riding an impressive four fight winning streak, Holyfield is eager to once again fight for the world heavyweight crown.

When offered the fight “The Real Deal” did not hesitate and quickly agreed to challenge Ibragimov in his home country.

“This is the first step on my quest to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, and I’m glad Sultan Ibragimov was willing to step up and give me a shot,” said Holyfield. “I’m looking forward to fighting in Moscow for the first time and winning my fifth heavyweight title there.”

A 2000 Olympic Silver medalist for Russia, Sultan Ibragimov (21-0-1, 17 KOs) struck heavyweight Gold in June when he decisively decisioned Shannon Briggs over 12 rounds to win the WBO heavyweight championship. For the fifth southpaw to win the heavyweight crown, it was the culmination of a journey that began in Dagestan and which led him to wins over Al Cole, Lance Whitaker, and Javier Mora. Now, the 32-year old – who can either box or bang between the ropes - will return home to face a boxing icon.

“Of course I’m disappointed that Chagaev pulled out of our fight and won’t allow me to unify our titles, but fighting a legend like Evander Holyfield is even better,” said Ibragimov. “And though I respect what he has done in his career, once the bell rings it will be all business, because he is trying to take what I have worked so hard for – my world championship.”

Today, at the press-center of the ‘ITAR TASS’ agency in Moscow, it was announced by both Sultan Ibragimov and Evander Holyfield that this fight will take place on the originally scheduled date of Saturday, October 13, 2007.

Article posted on 02.08.2007

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