The Return of Holfyfield
Holyfield to Return to Ring With New Team
Mon Mar 8, 6:20 PM ET
By FRED LIEF, AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK - Evander Holyfield will keep fighting, looking for a bout this summer with hopes of becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion again.
Holyfield, 41, said Monday he will return with a new management team, and he is still confident in his skills despite winning only two of his last eight fights.
"If I didn't believe I could get all three belts, I wouldn't fight," Holyfield said at a news conference.
No matchup has been set for Holyfield, who has been urged by many in boxing to retire. He said he would like to fight IBF champ Chris Byrd or WBA champ John Ruiz for the titles, and will not take on mediocre opponents.
"If I fight lesser opponents, I might as well do that in the gym," he said.
Holyfield was beaten badly in his last fight in October against James Toney, with his corner throwing in the towel. The ex-champion said his camp has faith in him and he needed to make changes.
"I don't want people in my corner second-guessing," Holyfield said.
He will now be handled by the Avondale Management Group, a three-man outfit with experience in marketing and entertainment but not boxing. The group contends Holyfield will be served well because he will not have to worry about business and can concentrate on boxing.
The group hopes to have Emanuel Steward as Holyfield's trainer and is trying to land a promoter. Holyfield manager Jim Thomas may be part of the new team.
Jim Gould, one of the partners, said Holyfield is "medically sound" and will work with any state boxing authorities that question his fitness.
Holyfield, 38-7-2 with 25 knockouts, said he was examined before and after the Toney fight. He said a rematch with Toney is not his primary concern.
"It's not about revenge," he said. "If I need to fight Toney to get in line for the title, I would do that."
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