Holyfield to face Moorer

January 12, 1994|By Alan Goldstein

Facing mounting pressure from the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association, heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield has agreed to make his next title defense against unbeaten Michael Moorer in April or June with Las Vegas as the likely site.

Holyfield, who reclaimed the IBF and WBA championship belts by upsetting Riddick Bowe in November, had hoped to fight World Boxing Council champion Lennox Lewis in a unifying title match this spring. But both the IBF and WBA insisted that he first face Moorer, their mandatory challenger, or risk having his titles stripped by their sanctioning bodies.

"Moorer is definitely our next fight," Holyfield's manager, Shelly Finkel, said yesterday. "If he beats Moorer, Evander will probably fight Lewis in the fall."

Main Events president Dan Duva, who has promotional ties to both Holyfield and Lewis, had considered appealing to the IBF's executive committee to allow Moorer to step aside and permit the Holyfield-Lewis bout.

"Dan decided it [an appeal] wouldn't do any good," said Finkel, a longtime associate of Duva's.

"We already had an executive meeting on Dec. 22," said IBF president Robert Lee. "They voted unanimously that Moorer would have to be Holyfield's next opponent."

Lee noted that Moorer also is ranked No. 1 by the WBA and that WBA president Gilberto Mendoza agreed fully with the IBF's position.

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