Don't allow "freak show" to go ahead

4:00pm Friday 29th February 2008

By Neil Meldrum

AT a time when boxing, particularly in Britain, is enjoying something of a renaissance, it's disappointing that two old timers from America have gone and spoiled it.

Two old timers, as it happens, who are two of the best heavyweights the world has seen.

So why are Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson considering locking horns for a third time?

It's all about money according to British heavyweight Danny Williams, who also predicted the fight would be a "freak show."

Holyfield doesn't need the money. Tyson does need the money.

And there you have the reason. But why on earth would Holyfield want to step into the ring with Tyson for a third time?

The second time they met, Tyson bit a chunk out of Holyfield's ear and the 45-year-old still has some fighting credibility left - unlike the ailing Tyson.

Talk of a tear up between these two should not be dominating the British boxing media's column inches when a massive super-fight is just around the corner when David Haye and Enzo Maccarinelli meet for the cruiserweight world title in London on March 8.

Gavin Rees defends his WBA light-welterweight title against Andreas Kotelnik in Cardiff on March 22 and Nottingham-born super-middleweight hope Carl Froch faces Dennis Inkin in a WBC title eliminator on March 29.

And all this before Clinton Woods meets Antonio Tarver in Tampa for the IBF light-heavyweight belt on April 12 and Joe Calzaghe and Bernard Hopkins square up on the Las Vegas strip a week later.

Despite all this, however, the heavyweight division continues to suffer from poor performances like Wladimir Klitschko and Sultan Ibragimov's dire meeting in February and a Holyfield / Tyson slug-fest would almost certainly pull in the TV viewers and net both men a healthy purse.

But there's something a little bit Big Brother about all this - and I don't mean CCTV cameras.

For all the kudos such a fight would bring Holyfield and Tyson, they may as well sign it up as some kind of weird reality TV show, because it shouldn't, if indeed it does happen, be billed as some kind of boxing landmark.

No doubt the money men will be licking their lips at the prospect of a quick buck with no care for credibility.

But all we can hope is that someone sees sense and pours cold water on a, frankly, ridiculous idea.

You get the impression, however, that it will take a moment of clarity from either Tyson or Holyfield to end the talk - and when was the last time you saw one of those?


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