This is pretty hilarious stuff, but in a way you have to understand and expect. They're trying to sell this fight, of course they're going to tell you that Ibragimov-Holyfield was "a close decision" (Ibragimov won 117-111, 117-111, 118-110) and that the fight being in Moscow played some role in that.
They're trying to sell you this show, of course they're going to refer to Holyfield's 1992 fight with Riddick Bowe at the Thomas & Mack Center (where this fight is being held) was one of the great heavyweight fights of this era. It was a great fight -- but not of this era. That fight was held on November 13, 1992. A person born on that day would be seven months shy of being able to buy a pack of cigarettes in the United States of America. The Toronto Blue Jays had just won their first of two World Series in a row. They have not been to the postseason since. Oscar de la Hoya turned pro 10 days after Holyfield-Bowe I.
I'm not going to watch this fight (well, not live anyway). It's a completely irrelevant heavyweight fight. But I don't have a burning hatred of it or anything. At this point, we know what it is. Holyfield is going to be fighting when he's 50 and talking about winning the world heavyweight championship. My one true hope for this is Evander wins, thus claiming the completely useless WBF title, and that that's good enough for him, and he steps aside.
Quotes from their press conference:
Evander Holyfield: "I'm happy to have the opportunity to fight in Las Vegas again. Everything that's happened to me has been here - in 1984 I had to win Saturday and Sunday to make the Olympic team. In 1990, 1993, 1996 and 2000 I won the heavyweight title here. Las Vegas has been the place that's given me the opportunity to be the person I am. I'm thankful for Botha giving me an opportunity to fight for a title again. My goal has simply been to be undisputed heavyweight champion. I'm a person - I think my attitude is good when people tell me I can't do something -- I'm driven by what people say I can't do to prove I can. I'm not disappointed by decisions. I felt I beat Valuev. I won't quit seeking to do my best and Saturday night you'll see me give my all. If not enough, I'll make adjustments.
"To be perfect is to reach my goal. I thought I did it in 1999 against Lennox (Lewis). Here, in 2010, and it's going to be a great fight. I'm telling you, Saturday night, I'll look better than I used to be."
Frans Botha: "I'm defending my title against one of the greatest legends of all-time. This will make my resume perfect. I've fought some of the best and Evander is one of the best. Saturday night, I'm prepared for this. Evander had talent and experience. I'm getting in there knowing it's going to be a tough fight. ‘The White Buffalo' is roaming the prairie. I'm going to end your career, make you retire. The Buffalo is charging.
"I'm very grateful to be here. Me and Evander would have fought 10 years ago. I was No. 1 and he was champion. It didn't work out. You're a legend. You've fought some of the greatest, but I have to stop that. Saturday night you're going to see a helluva fight."