Holyfield defeats Nielsen, continues his slow march to another world title shot
By Dan Ambrose: 48-year-old Evander Holyfield (44-10-2, 29 KO’s) toyed with 46-year-old Danish heavyweight Brian Nielsen (64-3, 43 KO’s), defeating him by a 10th round TKO last night at the Koncecerthuset, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Holyfield knocked Nielsen down once in the 3rd from a left hook and then finished him off in the 10th with a flurry of shots while Nielsen was trapped in the corner. Nielsen wasn’t happy with the stoppage, complaining about some headbutts that he had been tagged with moments earlier as well as some rabbit shots that he was hit with while he bending forward.
The stoppage was actually a good thing for Nielsen because he was bleeding from a cut eye and between the eyes from the punishment he had sustained in the fight. The bout was never really competitive. Nielsen was too slow and much too heavy to do much other than land an occasional punch here and there. Nielsen spent the majority of the fight with his back against the ropes, looking to land short shots. Perhaps Nielsen’s best round came in the 3rd when Holyfield stopped punching all sudden and started taking shots from Nielsen. Holyfield was hit with at least 10 consecutive shots before Nielsen, for some reason, spit out his mouthpiece without getting hit. The referee then stopped the action and had the mouthpiece put back in. By then, Nielsen’s brief bit of success was over with. He never really did much after that.
Nielsen looked in pretty bad shape with a lot of loose skin on his overweight physique. For his part, Holyfield didn’t look that great either. His physique was fine but he was slow and lacked the ability to fight hard without stopping and letting Nielsen get in his own shots. The fight looked like a glorified sparring session for the most part. Holyfield really didn’t go after Nielsen the way he could have and it appeared that he was carrying him at times.
The win hardly makes you think that Holyfield is ready for a title shot against one of the world champions. That’s what Holyfield is looking to get, but he’s going to have to fight better guys that the 46-year-old Nielsen if he wants to get ranked high enough for one of the champions to waste time fighting him. Holyfield has been blessed with title opportunities in the past four years against Sultan Ibragimov and Nikolay Valuev, but it’s not likely going to be given to him the way it was in those fights. Holyfield will have to get ranked high before one of the Klitschko brothers gives him a shot. Holyfield’s best chance is if Vitali Klitschko retires and then Polish heavyweight Tomasz Adamek can someone get a hold of his title. Adamek has shown a tendency to take on older heavyweights and he’d likely fight Holyfield in a second to milk his title. It would be an awful fight but that would be Holyfield’s best option to get a chance at one of the heavyweight titles in the next two or three years. At 48, Holyfield will have to be willing to stick around until at least 49 or 50 before he possibly gets another chance.
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