By Matthew Hurley: On Saturday, October 20th ESPN Classic will air the replay of the Sultan Ibragimov – Evander Holyfield WBO heavyweight title fight. The broadcast will start at 8 pm Eastern Standard Time. Ibragimov, 20-0-1 won a unanimous decision over the former champion by scores of 118-110 and 117-111 twice..
Holyfield, 42-9-2 started the bout aggressively and caught the defending champion a bit off guard but as the rounds progressed the younger Ibragimov used his superior hand speed and refused to engage Holyfield in a slugfest, staying on the outside and counter punching. As Holyfield slowed down Ibragimov piled up points. A desperate rally in the last two rounds by Holyfield came up short and the legendary fighter lost for the first time in his last five bouts.
This latest comeback will not be Holyfield’s last. He maintained in interviews after the bout that he would continue to fight on in hopes of achieving his dream of becoming undisputed heavyweight champion again.
Ibragimov has made it his intention to seek out the other belt holders in hopes of scoring a big paycheck and recognition as the universal heavyweight champion. Should the WBO order a mandatory defense Ibragimov will probably comply and then look to fight the winner of the Samuel Peter – Oleg Maskaev fight that has been rescheduled for February 8th at Madison Square Garden.