Holyfield plans night of 'faith' before fight Champ predicts 15,000 for his Christian rally

October 30, 1997|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

LAS VEGAS -- Evander Holyfield is looking to draw as big a crowd to share his faith as he can to watch him fight.

Two days before he fights Michael Moorer to unify portions of the heavyweight title, Holyfield will act as host for an event he thinks is bigger than his fight.

The WBA heavyweight champion is organizing a Christian rally for Nov. 6 that organizers predict will draw 15,000 people for a night of preaching and music.

If it does, it will rival the crowd expected for the fight two nights later at the UNLV campus arena that will unify the WBA and IBF versions of the heavyweight title.

Unlike the fight, though, where tickets range from $100 to $1,000, the rally will be free.

Holyfield's "Holy Warrior Invasion" will feature the fighter and his wife, Dr. Janice Holyfield, along with ministers from more than 50 Las Vegas groups spreading Holyfield's belief that "faith can win championships.

"It's partly responsible for the man I am today," Holyfield said.

The heavyweight champion, who upset Mike Tyson a year ago, then beat him again in their rematch made infamous by Tyson's ear biting, said organizing the event has not interfered with training for his upcoming bout.

"My ultimate aim is my ministry," he said. "Boxing is second fiddle. It has given me the opportunity to spread the word to young people."

During the event, volunteers will distribute seven tractor-trailer loads of food and family supplies to area churches with food banks. Holyfield is donating the food.

Holyfield is also paying for 2,500 meals for the homeless. The meals, which will include hamburgers and chicken, will be served at a nearby park before the outdoor service.

Under Holyfield's organization, several churches will provide music and other services for the event.

Pub Date: 10/30/97

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