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Sun 25 Jan 2009 10:24 AM

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Tyson and Holyfield to fight in Abu Dhabi

EXCLUSIVE: The two former world heavyweight boxing champions will battle it out in October.

Boxing legends Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield will stage an epic third fight in Abu Dhabi this October, Arabian Business can reveal.

Full details of the historic fight will be announced on Feb. 1. It is understood that the bout will be held at the open air Zayed Sports City Stadium in front of 25,000 boxing fans, with sources indicating it will be the “richest fight in history.”

The Tyson/Holyfield fight will be the finale to an evening that will first feature two separate world title bouts. One tentative date is Oct. 31, the night before the first ever Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.   Tyson, the 42 year old former world heavyweight champion - facing financial troubles - last stepped into the ring in November 2005, when he lost to Ireland's Kevin McBride.

Holyfield, now 46 years old, fought for the WBO heayweight belt in October 2007 when he was outpointed by Russian holder Sultan Ibragimov.

Holyfield won both the previous two encounters with Tyson, including the famous “bitten ear” incident during their second meeting in 1997.

Holyfield, who knocked out Tyson when they first met in 1996, was paid a record $34 million for their second meeting. Sources suggest that each fighter will earn more than $34 million for the Abu Dhabi clash, which is expected to be televised world-wide.

It is also understood that a chunk of the earnings from the October event will be donated to an Autism charity.

The fight is being put together by Hydra Properties CEO, Sulaiman Al Fahim, who said in a telephone interview on Sunday: “We have agreement from everyone needed and will make the official announcement next week.

The idea is to stage the biggest ever fight in boxing history and to do it in Abu Dhabi, which would be a great global event for the UAE capital.”

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Skeptical 11 years ago

If true, this is a joke and everyone around the world will be disgusted at the waste of money being thrown at such an event. These are "has beens" who both would do about anything for a paycheck because they are financially broke. If Abu Dhabi was serious about wanting to get into the fight game they should go after serious boxing contenders and not a couple of guys who are 10 years past their prime. I am all for the charity aspect but come on...I would rather see a World Wresting Entertainment event than to see these old guys in the ring!

AJ 11 years ago

Both these fighters are well past their prime. To call this 'the biggest ever fight in boxing history' is tatamount to sheer comedy. This is yet another waste of time and resources. When will people in this region wake up to the fact that we are living in a recession and can least afford to waste money on such spectacles that have little or no commercial or sporting value!

Mo 11 years ago

Both these men are well past their prime. I have a feeling this will be thought around the world as a bit of a joke....

Ahmed Merza 11 years ago

I dont think this is the biggest boxing fight in history those two are legends way past their time it would be great as an entertainment but it would be better to include A wrestling match the same night and bring HULK HOGAN a living legend to this region.

William 11 years ago

The last time these guys had a match was actually ridiculous. Let's see, maybe this time Tyson's gonna bite the other ear!

Trevor 11 years ago

Sorry guys, are we supposed to get excited about this garbage? If we want to watch has-beens there are plenty of past their sell-by date music concerts around. Who is the other fight on the bill, Ali/Frazier?

paul 11 years ago

Tyson has not been top quality for 15 years, Holyfield has not for nearly a decade. So the fight is irrelevant, it is hardly the 'rumble in the jungle' or the 'thriller in manilla'. I think people are tiring of Abu Dhabi's constant desire to upstage Dubai with ever tackier second rate gimmicks. It would be far better to get a real world title fight so people could see some real boxing and not just two past-it fat blokes duking it out half-heartedly for the money.

Gaston 11 years ago

Maybe it is time for the UAE to do something heroic itself, instead of buying headlines with shagged out Western icons. Where is the so-called Arab pride?

BH 11 years ago

surely not...

rex p. 11 years ago

this fight would become a nonsense.if you are a boxing afficionado you would not come to abu dhabi and pay to watch this fight.maybe you'll wait for this this fight t be aired for free because even on pay per view,you are not going to pay for these fight.stop it pls.bring Pacquiao and Mayweather here and you'll get the richest boxing fight in the world.