Evander Holyfield not on David Tua radar

BY DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 05:00 29/08/2010
Evander Holyfield celebrates his eighth-round TKO victory over Francois Botha in their heavyweight bout in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Getty Images
STILL PUNCHING: Evander Holyfield celebrates his eighth-round TKO victory over Francois Botha in their heavyweight bout in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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David Tua's American handler has poured cold water on speculation the Kiwi is set to fight former world champion Evander Holyfield in November.

Cedric Kushner, Tua's global promoter, told Sunday News from New York he was stunned to hear reports of the fight being lined up in Detroit.

It seems this fight isn't the "Real Deal", as Holyfield is nicknamed.

American commentator "Colonel" Bob Sheridan, a regular caller of Tua fights and a big fan of the Samoan-New Zealander, suggested on Friday a clash with Holyfield was in the "negotiating stages", with a November 5 date.

The Tua camp in New Zealand deny any contact and Kushner is equally mystified.

"I have had no contact with Evander Holyfield in regard to fighting David Tua in November. I haven't spoken to Evander for six months," Kushner said.

"I was just as surprised as everyone else. I don't know where that comes from. I'm told it's from a radio interview but I know nothing about it. It's very strange, very peculiar."

Kushner has contacted Sheridan and believes there's been a mix-up.

"I spoke to Bob after the interview and he told me he never said Tua was going to fight Holyfield. He made some comment saying `wouldn't it be nice', or something to that effect. I think he has been misquoted."

Tua is back in New Zealand determined to get his career back on track after drawing his last fight against American Monte Barrett in New Jersey last month.

Kushner is dubious about the value in fighting Holyfield, a four-times world champion.

After the disappointing result against Barrett, a win is vital for 37-year-old Tua if he is to keep his dream of getting another world title shot alive.

Despite his age, Holyfield has the skills to frustrate any boxer.

He is now 47 but has kept himself incredibly fit and remained active, fighting for three heavyweight crowns with various organisations over the past four years.

The pair have a history, with Holyfield using Tua as a sparring partner for his 1996 fight with Mike Tyson.

Kushner wants to get Tua back into the ring but won't be rushed. Tua has been battling a shoulder problem and won't contemplate any return until that is sorted out.

"I want David to get back into action. We have to work out a date and go from there. But that can't be done until I speak to David, which I hope to do in the next couple of days," Kushner said.

Tua has one more fight to go on his Maori TV deal before being free to set up more lucrative fights.

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