New York gears for heavyweight boxing fest

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:04 IST

Infamous boxing promoter Don King has assembled a four-fight heavyweight extravaganza on Saturday night in New York's Madison Square Garden.

New York gears for heavyweight boxing fest

New York:

All eight heavyweights involved in the much-hyped "Rendezvous with Destiny: Battle for Supremacy" weighed-in on Thursday for Saturday's fight night at New York's Madison Square Garden. Infamous boxing promoter Don King King put them all on display where the eight fighters stood with King on a truck axle scale to weigh in at a combined 2,130 pounds (966.2 kilogrammes). Dubbed the "Rendezvous with Destiny: Battle for Supremacy", eight heavyweights will share a packed card on Saturday night in New York's Madison Square Garden. Infamous boxing promoter Don King has assembled a four-fight heavyweight extravaganza that will include two title defences. Chris Byrd will defend his IBF title against his friend Jameel McCline, while Andrew Golota aims to become WBA champion by beating the holder John Ruiz. On the two under-card fights, heavyweight contender Hasim Rahman will face Kali Meehan and four-times world champion Evander Holyfield will attempt a comeback against Larry Donald. King put them all on display at Thursday's weigh-in, where the eight fighters stood with King on a truck axle scale to weigh in at a combined 2,130 pounds (966.2 kilogrammes). McCline was the biggest fighter at 270 pounds (122.5 kilogrammes), while King was the heaviest of all at 278- pounds! (126.3 kilogrammes) Byrd will give away 56 pounds (25.4 kilogrammes) to McCline, a man he would rather not fight. But Byrd says he will take a clinical approach to the third defence of the title he won two years ago against Holyfield. Byrd (37-2-1 with 20 knockouts) is a 2-1 favourite against the hard-hitting McCline, who was stopped by Wladimir Klitschko in the 10th round two years ago in his biggest fight to date. Byrd returns to the Garden where he engaged in a very untypical Byrd-like slugfest with Golota in an April fight that ended in a draw. In the other title fight, WBA champion Ruiz will defend against Golota. The fight card could help clean up some of the confusion in the heavyweight division, though it lacks the fighter many consider the true heavyweight champion, WBC champion Vitali Klitschko. All the other heavyweights are promoted by King, who is careful about the pairings. So, instead of Ruiz and Byrd fighting to unify a title, Byrd will fight McCline and Ruiz will face Golota. "It's a great card. It's great for the fans. I hope they come out and support this card. It's going to be a turning point in the heavyweight division where everybody is going to see whose out there, see it with there own eyes and find out whose going to be the next undisputed champion," said John Ruiz, WBA champion. "I think it's tremendous. I'm looking forward to fighting each and every one of them. I think it's a tremendous opportunity for me to watch them, watch what they do and really get a good look at them. And then I think we're all going to be fighting in the near future," said Hasim Rahman, world heavyweight contender. Asked how long would it take him to become an undisputed champion again, former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield said: "If I can, you know, if I can take two next year, take three next year, it can be 2005 or it could be 2006." Holyfield, who is 42, hasn't fought since being stopped a year ago by James Toney. He will take on Donald as he tries to get back in heavyweight contention again. Rahman will face Meehan with the winner becoming the mandatory challenger to Klitschko. (AP)



Topics : Boxing
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