Boxing: Holyfield will not rush into rematch

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The Independent Online
Evander Holyfield will not allow Mike Tyson to push him into a rematch in March but he is leaning toward a rematch that could earn him even more than the US$30 (pounds 18.6m) Tyson received as the champion for their meeting last weekend.

The World Boxing Association heavyweight champion, in New York on a satellite hook-up with Tyson in Ohio, said: "I look forward [to a rematch]. I just don't want to go into it too fast. I do have shoulder problems. I think March is too soon. I won't be able to be prepared for it."

Tyson was speaking from his Ohio home, where he was lounging - dressed in a black shirt and black leather pants - on a huge bed with a zebra- stripped bedspread and his new tiger cub chewing on his elbow.

"[From what] Evander is saying over there in New York, he's not speaking like someone with any zest for a rematch", Tyson said, adding that when there was great interest in a rematch with any of his previous opponents he was quick to offer a rematch.

But a resplendent Holyfield, adhering to the animal-themed fashion of the day in a black shirt and black pants with a shimmering, bright yellow, leopard-patterned vest, would not be pushed. "I know my body and it caused me to lose the championship to Riddick Bowe," said Holyfield, referring to his 1992 bout with Bowe, the first of their three fights. "I'm not going in there unprepared and find myself at a disadvantage."

Throughout the interview Tyson insisted he did not remember much of the beating he had taken in Las Vegas in losing his title to Holyfield. In fact, when he returned to his dressing-room after Holyfield stopped him in the 11th round with a barrage of punches, "the first thing I said was, "What happened?'. I had thought I knocked Holyfield out. I didn't know I had lost."

Asked whether he would retain his cornermen, who were criticised for their guidance, Tyson said they "absolutely" would return. "If they told me anything, trust me, it was appropriate advice. I just wasn't coherent to take it."

Tyson said when he returned to his corner after the first round he was asked how he felt, and said, "I'm in good shape. I can fight like this all night."