Holyfield 'will fight in China next year'

After much speculation, Evander Holyfield has finally agreed to a fight in Beijing, according to a mainland Chinese promoter who said today he hopes Holyfield's opponent will be John Ruiz.

After much speculation, Evander Holyfield has finally agreed to a fight in Beijing, according to a mainland Chinese promoter who said today he hopes Holyfield's opponent will be John Ruiz.

Great Wall International Sports Media Co. Ltd. director Niu Li-xin said he reached the deal Friday with Jim Thomas, Holyfield's manager, in Los Angeles, confirming Holyfield will come to China next year.

Niu told The Associated Press the match should be held sometime between February and June.

The event will feature six other boxers from all over the world, in a high-profile show intended to help China boost its chances of hosting the 2008 Olympics, Niu said.

Niu declined to disclose how much Holyfield will be paid or to identify the other boxers, but said promoters will get at least US $20 million to be handed out to the eight fighters.

Holyfield, the three-time heavyweight champion, has said he wants to recover his undisputed title, lost to Lennox Lewis in 1999, and then retire.

Great Wall, based in Beijing, has said it will shoulder about 10 percent of the fight's U.S. dlrs 40 million costs.

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