Is this fight worth Pay-Per-View?

By Francis Walker
Updated: December 19, 2008

Can a 46-year-old Evander Holyfield, at 6' 2

Can a 46-year-old Evander Holyfield, at 6' 2" 215 pounds, topple a 7' 3," 325-pound Russian giant named Nikolai Valuev? Should Holyfield win the WBA crown, he would become boxing's first ever five-time heavyweight champion. Photo Credit: Integrated Sports.

NEW YORK— On Saturday, former undisputed cruiserweight and world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield (42-9-2, 27 KOs) challenges 7-foot 3-inch, Nikolai Valuev (49-1, 34 KOs) for the WBA heavyweight championship.

Holyfield, at age, 46, will attempt to become boxing’s first five-time heavyweight champion. The fight will take place in Zurich, Switzerland. It will be broadcast live in the U.S. and Canada on iN Demand, DISH, and TVN Pay-Per-View at 3 pm ET including an automatic replay at 9 pm ET

The suggested retail price is $24.95.

Valuev, 32, St. Petersburg, Russia, is a two-time WBA heavyweight champion, will be appearing in his seventh world title fight.

A lot of people don’t believe that Holyfield stands a chance against Valuev. There are also those who feet that Holyfield, who hasn’t won a fight since June 2007 when he beat Lou Savarese (W 10), deserves a chance to fight for a heavyweight title.

In Hoyfield’s last bout, he challenged Sultan Ibragimov for the WBO heavyweight title and lost a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision in Moscow, Russia.

If Holyfield, at 6-feet-2 and 215 pounds, doesn’t stand a chance against Valuev, the largest heavyweight champion in history at 320 pounds, why should people tune in to see the fight on Pay-Per-View?

“Internationally, it has a lot of appeal,” said Doug Jacobs of Integrated Sports. “Evander Holyfield is a ring legend.”

Jacobs also added that there are people who still want to see Holyfield fight. After all, Holyfield has fought every top heavyweight champion in the last two decades: Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis (twice), Larry Holmes, George Foreman, Riddick Bowe (three times), Michael Moorer, and in recent times John Ruiz (three times), Hasim Rahman, and Sultan Ibragimov.

Holyfield has always done well on Pay-Per-View, but in recent months, a lot of fights have been televised on Pay-Per-View: Bernard Hopkins vs. Kelly Pavlik, Joe Calzaghe vs. Roy Jones. Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Joel Casamayor, Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito, and the recent Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar De La Hoya bout.

Many of these event featured mismatches, but Jacobs believes that Holyfield vs. Valuev is worth the asking price.

“You still have HBO and other networks that have boxing on PPV or on TV for free,” Jacobs said. “HBO and Showtime are paying a lot of money for events. Versus is trying to into the mix with ESPN, Showtime, and HBO. We’re offering Holyfield-Valuev at an affordable price of $24.95.”

Interestingly, an expected crowd of 12,000 people will jam the Hallenstadion in Switzerland to see Holyfield, a legend, against Valuev, an extremely popular heavyweight because of his massive size.

Valuev isn’t a stranger to American fight fans. He owns victories against popular American heavyweights such as John Ruiz, Jameel McCline, and Monte Barrett. Valuev’s bouts against Barrett and his sole loss to Ruslan Chagaev were televised here in the United States.

Valuev is a very slow fighter and his skills maybe limited, but he gives heavyweights problems because of his massive size and good stamina. Remember, Valuev has only one professional loss in 50 fights.

Jacobs added: “We’re offering a possibility to see it. We kept it affordable – if two or three guys split it – it’s the same price as if you’d be paying to go out to a movie.”

Can Holyfield pull off a much-needed miracle? We’ll know after Saturday afternoon.

Valuev-Holyfield undercard

In addition to the main event, your $24.95 Pay-Per-View asking price will also include a competitive undercard line up.

Unbeaten heavyweight Francesco Pianeta (17-0, 11 KOs) of Italy battles undefeated Frenchman Johann Duhaupas (17-0, 10 KOs) to a 12-round bout for a European title.

Eileen “The Hawaiian Mongoose” Olszewski (5-2-1, 0 KOs), a former New York Knicks dancer, battles Germany’s Nadia Raoul (9-0, 3 KOs).

Also, Danish southpaw Mads Larsen (50-2, 37 KOs) challenges Italian kickboxing and Thai boxing champion, Roberto Cocco (9-2, 5 KOs) of Italy.

In other news: Andre Berto vs. Luis Collazo on HBO

DiBella Entertainment has announced a very attractive HBO “Boxing After Dark” doubleheader to commence on Saturday, January 17, 2009.

The Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, MS will play host, as undefeated WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto (23-0, 19 KOs) makes the second defense of his championship against No. 1 contender and former world champion, Luis Collazo (29-3, 14 KOs) in the main event.

In the co-featured attraction, WBC interim junior middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (44-1-1, 24 KOs) defends against unbeaten contender “Mean” Joe Greene (20-0, 14 KOs) in what should be a sensational match.

Also on the card, undefeated junior middleweight prospect Ronald Hearns (21-0, 17 KOs) will be featured in a 10-round bout.