FIVE-TIMES world champion Evander Holyfield, last seen in Britain becoming the first voted out of the Celebrity Big Brother house, plans to come out of retirement at the age of 51 and fight Scotland’s Gary Cornish.
Cornish, the 26-year-old undefeated Highland heavyweight, is being lined up as a credible opponent for the former heavyweight world champion, according to promoter Frank Warren.
Warren revealed last night that he will make an official approach to the Boxing Board of Control requesting that they grant Holyfield a licence to fight in Britain this summer.
He has also identified 26-year-old Cornish as his first choice to challenge Holyfield, a past holder of the WBA, WBC and IBF titles.
Holyfield has been inactive for the past three years since defeating Dane Brian Nielsen in the most recent of his 57 bouts in May 2011. But a spokesman for London fight boss Warren confirmed: “An enquiry has been made to Holyfield’s camp and they are interested. An application will also shortly be lodged with the British Boxing Board of Control. We think Cornish is a great prospect and someone worth getting behind. A fight of this magnitude would propel him into the limelight.”
Cornish’s manager, Tommy Gilmour, gave a cautious welcome to the idea. “Holyfield is still a huge name and with his record it would represent a massive step up for Gary, but why not?” he said. “It is also in the plans for Gary to spar with Dereck Chisora again in the build-up to his fight with Tyson Fury for the vacant British title in July. Gary may also get a spot on the Chisora undercard in Manchester for a title of some description.”
Holyfield famously beat Mike Tyson twice, including in June 1997 when Tyson was disqualified for biting a chunk out of his opponent’s ear after being stopped eight months earlier, claiming that he had done so in retaliation to head-butting.