The hotly-anticipated “Legends of the Ring” showdown between Brian Nielsen (64-2, 43 KOs) and Evander Holyfield (43-10, 28 KOs) has been moved back to May 7. The two heavyweight superstars were to battle it out at DR´s Koncerthuset on March 5 but will now lock horns two months later because a cut injury has kept “The Real Deal” out of practice longer than originally anticipated. In his last fight on January 22, Holyfield was cut above his left eye following a headbutt from Sherman “The Tank” Williams.
The encounter was stopped after the third round and ruled a “no contest.” “I had hoped to be fully fit to fight Brian on March 5 but after another close examination this week the doctor said I could not do sparring until the end of the month,” Holyfield said. “My good physical shape and my meticulous preparation have always been my biggest advantages throughout my career, and I will not enter the ring against a determined opponent like Nielsen when I am not 100 percent prepared. I take Nielsen very seriously. I need a convincing victory to put myself back in line for another shot at the world title, so I will give the cut enough time to heal before resuming practice. I will be in top shape on May 7 and defeat Brian Nielsen.”
Nielsen said he was frustrated when he heard the news but decided to take the positives out of it. “Always look on the bright side of life,” he said. “The more training I get, the stronger I will become. I would have been ready to give Evander a great fight on March 5. I have worked my butt off in practice where Karsten Rower has been torturing me twice a day. Although I am not exactly thrilled to be in his German training hell for two more months, every single practice session will only make me better. I will make sure Evander gets a nice souvenir from his trip to Copenhagen. I will cut his other eye, too. He will be good friends with the doctor he has been seeing.”
Said promoter Kalle Sauerland: “Unfortunately, in a tough individual sport like boxing, postponements are part of the game. Nothing will change – except for the date, which is now May 7. The spectacular venue at DR´s Koncerthuset, the tickets and the meaning of this once-in-a-lifetime event will remain the same. We fully understand Evander´s decision. It is the right thing to do. We have stressed from the very beginning that we would never let a fighter inside the ring if he is not 100 percent fit, and that includes a perfect preparation. As we have learned from Brian, let´s look at the bright side. Two more months of professional boxing training and sparring will make him even better. And we have two more months to look forward to what will be an unforgettable night that will go down in the history of Danish boxing.”
All tickets for the clash will remain valid but can be refunded until February 25. Nielsen will continue his training in Berlin, where he is currently working out alongside up-and-coming middleweight Patrick Nielsen (7-0, 5 KOs), who headlines the next TV2 Fight Night in Herning on February 12. Super Brian will be in Patrick´s corner when the latter takes on Erik Avlastimov (5-0, 3 KOs).