• Heavyweight

Holyfield gives Klitschkos October ultimatum

ESPN staff
August 10, 2012

Evander Holyfield is targeting a fight with one of the Klitschko brothers before hanging up his gloves, with the former heavyweight king giving the Ukrainian siblings a deadline of October to get in the ring with him.

The two-weight world champion, 49, is vowing to leave the sport on a high, insisting he is capable of quitting as champion before he turns 50 on October 19.

The Klitschkos have dominated the heavyweight scene for a number of years, with Wladimir holding the IBF, WBO and WBA crowns and elder brother Vitali currently in possession of the WBC strap.

Holyfield, who last fought in May 2011 (stopping Brian Nielsen in the 10th round in Denmark), retains the belief he can become a five-time heavyweight champion and is hopeful of tempting either Klitschko into the ring before calling it a day.

"Well my goal was to hopefully get another shot before I retire, and of course the Klitschko brothers - they are champions but if they don't give me the opportunity then I don't really want to wait any longer," he told ESPN. "If I don't get in the ring this year then I will retire.

"I am in shape and if they fight me this year then we'll fight but you know I turn 50 in October, so if I got an invitation to fight by October then I will let them have it and I will tell them you can have it.

"I wouldn't get in there [a boxing ring] with a kid if I didn't think that I could beat the kid, I am a winner and I realise that you get older but you are supposed to get smarter. The whole big thing is that it is not about the body with me. I haven't just been singing this song today, when I turn 50, I said this when I was in my forties and when I was in my early forties. They didn't want to fight me then and that is alright."

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