Holyfield’s Demand: $25 Million

<i> From Staff and Wire Reports</i>

If promoters expect Evander Holyfield to step into a ring with Lennox Lewis, they better come up with a lot of money.

Holyfield, in Dothan, Ala., Thursday for a concert, told the Dothan Eagle he wants a guaranteed $25 million before he’ll agree to fight Lewis.

Holyfield, the World Boxing Assn. and International Boxing Federation champion, said he rejected a $20-million offer earlier this week.

“They’re going to have to come up with a little more money than $20 million,” Holyfield told the newspaper. “This fight is bigger now than it was 10 months ago and the whole world is saying, ‘We want to see this fight.’


“I know the fight is bigger, but should I take $20 million? No, I want $5 million more.”

Lewis is the World Boxing Council champion, so the winner of the fight would be the undisputed heavyweight champion.

Seth Abraham, president of Time Warner Sports and operator of HBO cable television, offered $20 million to Holyfield and $10 million to Lewis for a bout on Dec. 5 or Dec. 12.

“If we have to wait to do it in the year 2000, I will,” Holyfield said. “I’m going to keep on winning and I’m sure Lennox will keep on winning because I’m the only guy out there who’ll whip him.”


Track and Field

World 200-meter record-holder Michael Johnson, preparing to return to competition in Europe next week after a month’s layoff because of injuries, said he would not try a 200-400 double at the Goodwill Games as previously announced.

Instead, he will compete only in the 400 at the Goodwill Games in New York on July 21, and in IAAF Golden League competitions over a similar distance at Oslo on Thursday and at Rome on July 14.

The races will be his first major competition since he finished an uncharacteristic third in the 200 at a meet in Oregon on May 31.


Former Olympic and world 100-meter champion Linford Christie won $66,400 in a libel suit in London, but the legal battle to clear his name might cost him financially.

The retired British runner won his libel action against convicted armed robber-turned-writer John McVicar over an article that alleged Christie used performance-enhancing drugs.

The judge ruled the legal costs, estimated at $332,000, be paid by McVicar.

McVicar, who said he did not regret writing the article, later indicated he would appeal the order for costs and it was unclear if he would be capable of paying the damages.


College Sports

New Mexico linebacker Ryan Taylor, who pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of assault and battery, was put on one year of probation.

The charges stemmed from an April 5 incident in which Taylor was accused of hitting and choking his girlfriend.

Under the plea, Taylor agreed to counseling for anger management and domestic violence and be screened for alcohol.


Neil McCarthy, who lost his job at New Mexico State despite winning more basketball games than any other coach in school history, has applied for the coaching job at Sam Houston State at Huntsville, Texas, his attorney said.

Sam Houston State is replacing coach Jerry Hopkins. The Bearkats had a 9-17 record last season.

Pairings for November’s Great Alaska Shootout were announced at Anchorage, including a first-round matchup between Duke and Notre Dame.

The Blue Devils, the Shootout’s 1995 champion, will face Notre Dame on Nov. 26.


In addition to Notre Dame, five teams are making their tournament debut: Cincinnati, Fresno State, Iowa State, St. Mary’s and Southern Utah.


The San Jose Clash converted four consecutive shootout attempts to earn a 2-1 Major League Soccer victory over the Columbus Crew at San Jose.

Former Dodger owner Peter O’Malley is helping to expand baseball into Ireland.


O’Malley, an Irish American, is spending the Fourth of July in Dublin to open the country’s first baseball facility. He paid for the construction of a youth field and an adult field at Corkagh Park.

A third woman swimmer deserted the Cuban national team, saying she will join two teammates who sought political asylum in the United States earlier this week.

Liudmila Montes de Oca, an 18-year-old specialist in the butterfly, and the two swimmers who abandoned the team Tuesday at San Juan, Puerto Rico, are among 27 Cuban swimmers training for this month’s Goodwill Games as guests of the Puerto Rico Swimming Federation.

Matt Grosjean, a three-time Olympian, retired from the U.S. Ski team after 10 years.


World champion Jamie Koven of the United States reached the semifinals in Diamond Sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta at Henley on Thames, England, winning easily over Australia’s Tristan Pascall.

Persistent showers postponed qualifying for the Craftsman Truck Series Sears DieHard 200 race at The Milwaukee Mile at West Allis, Wis., until today.