Evander Holyfield Begins Quest For Record Fifth Heavyweight Belt

16.08.06 - FSN and BEST DAMN SPORTS SHOW PERIOD are pleased to present another championship-caliber boxing match as former four-time heavyweight champion Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield begins his quest for a record-breaking fifth heavyweight championship. FSN telecasts the live bout from the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Friday, August 18 at 10:30 PM EST/7:30 PM PST.

Holyfield stayed away from the ring for the last two years to recover from the nagging injuries that led to losses in his last two fights. Now healthy, Holyfield is ready to reclaim his place on top of the boxing world. The 43-year-old pride of Atlanta battles veteran Jeremy Bates in a ten-round non-title bout in the headline fight of a special edition of BDSSP’s successful live boxing series.

BDSSP host Chris Rose joins co-host John Salley and analyst Chris Byrd, who defeated Holyfield in 2002 to take the heavyweight title, to preview the evening’s fight card. Veteran announcer Barry Tompkins calls the fights, along with analyst Rich Marotta; Sean O'Grady conducts post-fight interviews.

“Evander Holyfield is a four-time World Champion and one of boxing’s all-time greats,” said George Greenberg, FSN’s Executive Vice President of Programming and Production. “He has not fought on television since 2004, so when this opportunity came along, it was a natural fit for Best Damn Sports Show Period. This is sure to be a great event.”

Holyfield (38-8-2, 25 KOs), a surefire lock to be in the Boxing Hall of Fame, captured his first title in 1990 with a third-round knockout of then heavyweight champion Buster Douglas. He continued his steady rise with wins against top opponents such as Larry Holmes, George Forman and Riddick Bowe and defeated “Iron” Mike Tyson twice in pursuit of his four heavyweight titles.

He last held the heavyweight title in 2000 after a unanimous decision over John Ruiz. A tactical fighter, Holyfield managed to neutralize his opponents’ strengths throughout his career, while taking advantage of their inabilities to react to his style.

Bates (21-11-1, 18 KOs), a 32-year-old from Ashland, Kentucky, carries a reputation as a scrappy fighter who is not afraid to get in the ring with any opponent and whose style promises to give Holyfield a battle in the ring.

This is the first time a heavyweight champion, current or former, will fight in Dallas, and the public is responding en masse. With more than 5,000 tickets distributed within the first few weeks of the fight’s announcement, this promises to be a very memorable night of boxing.

Between FSN’s popular SUNDAY NIGHT FIGHTS franchise and the BDSSP live boxing series, FSN has showcased such great fighters as James “Lights Out” Toney, Bowe, Vernon Forrest, Bernard Hopkins, Ray Mercer, Tim Witherspoon, Thomas Hearns, David Reid and Virgil Hill.

FSN, its affiliates and other FNG-owned networks reach more than 81 million homes through 21 regional networks. Based in Los Angeles, FSN owned – or affiliated regional sports networks serve as the TV home to 64 of the 82 MLB, NHL and NBA teams based in the United States. FSN produces over 4,500 live events each year, including close to 500 in High Definition. In addition to its thousands of home team games and a wide variety of locally produced sports programs, FSN televises national sports events and programs, including Pac-10 and ACC basketball; Pac-10 and Big 12 football; Best Damn Sports Show Period; CMI: The Chris Myers Interview; Poker Dome Challenge, In Focus and The FSN Final Score. For the latest up-to-the-minute sports new and opinions, visit the FOX Sports/FSN website at

Article posted on 16.08.2006

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