Originally created 08/30/97

Holyfield, Moorer to fight for unified title



LAS VEGAS (AP) - Evander Holyfield returns to the ring, and one of this city's biggest casino operators returns to big-time boxing, when Holyfield meets fellow heavyweight champion Michael Moorer Nov. 8.

Holyfield will try and unify two parts of the heavyweight title when he meets Moorer in his first fight since earning $35 million to have his ears bitten by Mike Tyson June 28.

It also will be a chance for revenge by Holyfield, who lost his WBA and IBF crowns to Moorer in a close decision April 22, 1994.

The fight was bought by the Mirage hotel-casino, which was once a major player in the fight game but has not held a big fight since Riddick Bowe beat Holyfield to win the undisputed heavyweight title five years ago.

It will be held, though, at UNLV's campus arena, which seats up to 19,000 for boxing.

Promoter Don King confirmed Friday that the Mirage had bought the fight, and said a press conference would be held next Wednesday in New York for the formal announcement.

Holyfield, the WBA heavyweight champion, reportedly will get $20 million to fight Moorer, who holds the IBF version of the title and will be paid about $8 million. The other major title, that of the WBC, is held by Lennox Lewis, who will defend against Andrew Golota Oct. 4.

Holyfield, the last heavyweight champion to defend the undisputed title in the ring, has said he wants to unify the three pieces of the crown again before retiring.

Holyfield gained a newfound celebrity status in the wake of the biting that led Tyson to be banned from boxing for at least a year and left Holyfield with the WBA title he first won from Tyson last November.

But King reportedly had trouble selling the Holyfield-Moorer fight, which was being shopped around for a site fee of $5 million to $6 million.

The MGM Grand hotel-casino, which has a contract with Tyson and King, did not bid for the fight, saying it was staying out of boxing for at least the rest of the year in the wake of troubles after the Holyfield-Tyson fight that forced it to close the hotel's casino for a few hours.

King said that he also talked to the Las Vegas Hilton, Madison Square Garden in New York and the Georgia Dome in Atlanta about staging the fight.