Newman eyes $20M for Bowe-Holyfield III


Rock Newman, manager of former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe, said yesterday he can "secure a $20 million purse offer within 72 hours" if Evander Holyfield is prepared to meet Bowe in a third and rubber match in May or June.

Newman reported meeting several weeks ago in Fremont, Calif., with Holyfield's adviser, rap star Hammer, to propose Bowe-Holyfield III, which would be fought with or without support from boxing's three major sanctioning bodies.

The International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association have threatened to strip Holyfield, who reclaimed his title from Bowe in November, if he bypassed IBF mandatory challenger Michael Moorer in his next bout.

But in a statement Holyfield said: "If I decide to fight again, I'm not giving up any of my titles."

Holyfield also has contemplated fighting World Boxing Council champ Lennox Lewis of England.

"Shelly Finkel represents both Lewis and Moorer," noted Newman, "but the biggest fight by far in the eyes of fight fans and pay-per-view managers is Bowe-Holyfield III.

"It reminds them of the 'Thrilla in Manila' [Ali-Frazier III], and we've even received feelers from the Philippines," said Newman.

But Newman said if the fight could be made, it would more likely take place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, with the gambling casino reportedly prepared to pay close to half the $20 million purses as a site fee.

Holyfield still has ties to Dan Duva, president of Main Events Inc. Duva holds promotional ties to Lewis and Moorer.

"Duva has told me that Holyfield would fight Bowe again over his dead body," said Newman, "so I haven't bothered talking to him.

"Naturally, we have backup plans for Riddick, but certainly nothing as lucrative as a third fight with Holyfield."

Bowe is signed to fight South Africa's unbeaten Francois Botha in Las Vegas on Feb. 5.

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