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HOLYFIELD EYES FIGHT IN SOUTH AFRICA; IS LEWIS BOUT DEAD?
Published January 7, 1998
Don King is seeing "'how much interest' there would be on the part of the South African government and pay-per-view interests" in an Evander Holyfield-Francois Botha fight, according to Jeff Schultz of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. Holyfield's attorney Jim Thomas also dismissed the "notion that it was Holyfield who withdrew from a possible fight" with Lennox Lewis. Thomas acknowledged that Holyfield "felt bound by a commitment" to Showtime before fighting Michael Moorer. Thomas, asked why Holyfield demanded $20M to fight Lewis: "Evander told the people at Showtime that he would not fight a title unification for less than $20 million. When the [Moorer] fight performed less than expected, Showtime lost a lot of money. Evander felt if he went to (rival) HBO and agreed to fight for less than $20 million, he would be going back on his word, and it could cause severe problems at Showtime." Holyfield-Moorer drew "about" 550,000 PPV buys and Showtime lost "a reported" $10M on the promo (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/7). Holyfield added that he "would not rule out fighting" Mike Tyson (L.A. TIMES, 1/7).