Corpus Christi, Texas:Evander Holyfield's bid to become the first five-time heavyweight champion gained momentum when the 44-year-old fighter stopped Vinny Maddalone in a bloody, one-sided bout on Saturday. At the urging of Maddalone's trainer, Al Certo, referee Ruben Carrion stopped the fight at 2:48 of the third round, with Maddalone bleeding profusely from the forehead and Holyfield blasting away. Seconds earlier, with Maddalone against the ropes, the former champ nearly floored Maddalone, much to the delight of the partisan crowd of about 6,500 at American Bank Center. As the nontitle match neared its end, most in attendance roared, "Holyfield! Holyfield!" Holyfield, whose comeback unfolds even as his name is associated with a US-wide steroid scandal, entered the fight at 216 pounds (98 kilograms), about 17 pounds (8 kilos) lighter than Maddalone. Holyfield improved his record to 41-8-2. "I'm ready for a title shot now," Holyfield said, conceding he's still probably a couple of matches away from securing one. Holyfield's co-promoter, Kathy Duva, said his next fight is likely to take place at the end of June, but an opponent hasn't been named. Holyfield said one of his inspirations was Foreman regaining the heavyweight title at 45, a feat he'd like to duplicate.