Boxing: Schulz confident of landing Tyson fight

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The Independent Online
WHETHER Mike Tyson's next ring opponent is Axel Schulz will be decided on Monday at the latest, the German fighter's promoter said yesterday.

Showtime Pay-TV will need a decision by then if the fight is to be staged as expected in Las Vegas on 24 April, according to Wilfried Sauerland, who added that a deal could be struck today when representatives of the Tyson and Schulz camps meet in New York.

Although the blonde German, the loser of three title fights, has been the leading candidate mentioned for Tyson's next outing, other names are also still under consideration like Vaughn Bean and Lou Savarese. But Schulz himself is convinced the fight is a done deal. He is also confident about his chances after watching Tyson struggle to shake off ring-rust in his victory over Francois Botha on Saturday.

"That's not the old Tyson. This fight will be a big step forward for me - I'm expecting that I'll win against Tyson," Schulz said on German TV.

A press release from Sauerland's promotion company also suggested that Tyson's camp was having second thoughts about Schulz as an opponent after the Botha fight. Apparently the 30-year-old German, with a record of 24 wins and four defeats in 29 fights including controversial title losses to both Botha and George Foreman, may now be regarded as too tough an opponent. Tyson's camp had demanded more tapes of Schulz to study, the promoter said. Schulz would earn at least a $2m [pounds 1.2m] purse for the fight, his promoters said, with both sides close to agreeing on the exact amount.

A world title shot is the target for the British, Commonwealth and European bantamweight champion, Paul Lloyd, who has teamed up with the promoter Frank Warren.

Lloyd has been in impressive form recently, defeating the Frenchman Luigi Mancini for the vacant European title last month. In September he defended his British and Commonwealth belts against Scotland's Drew Docherty.

Warren hailed Lloyd's signature, saying: "I'm delighted to have Paul on our books and will be looking at world title opportunities in the near future. Paul is a class act who has shown great determination to bounce back from his world title defeat last year. He definitely deserves a second chance when the time is right."