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Evander Holyfield "moved closer to a three-way heavyweight unification" by beating Michael Moorer before an announced crowd of 13,200 at the Thomas & Mack Center, according to Royce Feour of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. Before the fight, the PPV audience was estimated to be between 650,000 and 1,000,000 buys. Holyfield, the World Boxing Association champion, unified two of the three major heavyweight championships with his TKO victory over Int'l Boxing Federation champion Moorer. Holyfield's next fight "will likely be against World Boxing Council champion Lennox Lewis, probably in April, although a lot of negotiating remains" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 11/9). LATE START: USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke reports that the Holyfield-Moorer main event on SET PPV "started at a ridiculously late 12:58 a.m. ET Sunday and ended at 1:30 a.m. because of long, dull preliminary fights -- another turnoff for pay-per-view buyers" (USA TODAY, 11/10). In Dallas, Kevin Blackistone called the bout "the best heavyweight fight no one saw. Or, certainly, read about the next day" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/10). Mike Lupica: "Who did they think they're targeting as their audience with a fight that begins at 12:58 in the morning Eastern Time, I mean, women breast-feeding infants? ("GMA," ABC, 11/10). UP NEXT: In N.Y., Dave Anderson reports that Holyfield fighting Lewis next is "not that simple." Don King, "who has a piece of Holyfield's future fights, is aligned with Showtime while Dino Duva of Main Events and Panos Eliades, who promotes Lewis, are aligned with" HBO (N.Y. TIMES, 11/10)....The fight will replay on Showtime Saturday evening, up against HBO's original movie, "Don King: Only in America." King said, "I'm going to compete against myself. America is truly great!" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/10).
The NFL last week filed suit over the NFLPA and Millennium Entertainment's planned restaurant chain, the NFL Players Grill, "to challenge the use of the 'NFL' name by Millennium and Commonwealth Associates," a N.Y. investment bank seeking funding for the restaurants, according to Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK. While the league "has never begrudged the union use of 'NFL' as part of its name," the restaurant "is the most conspicuous attempt by the union yet to use the trademark for commercial purposes." Also, the NFL "has been quietly shopping its own restaurant entertainment concept for more than a year." According to the complaint, a prospectus distributed by Commonwealth "included such claims as 'Millennium is the first and only restaurant company licensed to incorporate the NFL into a theme restaurant' and 'league events and promotions are to be scheduled,' at these restaurants, both dubious claims, since the enterprise was founded under a license from NFLPA." Sources tell Lefton that "in their haste to find backers, the would-be NFL restauranteurs apparently got overzealous, soliciting, among others, NFL owners for start-up funding" (BRANDWEEK, 11/10).