Boxing: Holyfield puts block on Bruno

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The Independent Online
FRANK BRUNO'S hopes of jumping the queue and fighting for the world heavyweight championship were dismissed yesterday by Evander Holyfield, who holds all versions of the title.

Holyfield and his promoter, Dan Duva, insist that the American's next fight after meeting Riddick Bowe on 13 November will be the contracted defence against either Lennox Lewis, the naturalised Canadian and British champion, or Razor Ruddock.

Instead, Duva has offered Bruno the chance of meeting Michael Moorer, the holder of the WBO title. This will come as a blow to Bruno and his promoter, Mickey Duff, who earlier this week made a pounds 5m offer to put Bruno in front of Lewis.

'I'm not fighting Bruno,' Holyfield, who is currently preparing for his defence against Bowe in Las Vegas, said. 'There's more chance of it snowing in August. Lewis and Ruddock are fighting for the right to challenge me and it is one of those who will get the next fight. They are two good heavyweights, very talented and I think Lewis will win on points.'

Duva, who says that he has not yet received a written offer from Duff, said: 'Sure, I am interested in Bruno - but for Michael Moorer. Evander is contracted to fight Lewis or Ruddock by the end of April and that is what we intend to do.'

Meanwhile, Frank Maloney, Lewis's manager, yesterday displayed contracts signed by Holyfield and Bowe for a fight against Lewis or Ruddock, who meet at Earls Court on 31 October. 'Frank Bruno appears in pantomime and I think Duff is believing in fairy tales,' he said. A total of pounds 35,000 is being spent on television advertising for the Lewis-Ruddock contest.