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Holyfield beats Nielsen with TKO

/ 10:45 AM May 08, 2011

Evander Holyfield, left, hits Brian Nielsen in their heavyweight match in Copenhagen, Saturday, May 7. Holyfield won via TKO. AP

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield beat Denmark’s Brian Nielsen on a technical knockout in the 10th round on Saturday in his long-shot quest for one last title fight.

The bout was stopped after the 48-year-old Holyfield pushed Nielsen into the corner in the 10th round and hit him several times with right-left combinations, causing the Dane to spit out some blood.

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Holyfield said after the fight that his hope is still to regain the world heavyweight title.

“This fight showed other champions what I am able to do, but it also taught me I got to be better,” said Holyfield, who has held the world title four times in his career.

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“The most important is that I didn’t quit,” he added. “I am not a quitter.”

Holyfield (44-10-2-1) started the fight aggressively, pressing the 46-year-old Nielsen into the ropes and landing several hard jabs and hooks. Nielsen then got a swollen eye in the fourth round and complained he couldn’t see properly.

But the Dane made a comeback in the eighth round, pushing a tired-looking Holyfield into the ropes with a series of combinations, before Holyfield turned it around in the 10th.

“It was a tough fight – he kept coming back,” Holyfield said. “He fought a very courageous fight.”

Holyfield weighed in at 225.97 pounds (102.8 kilograms), while Nielsen, a tall, pudgy fighter, was at 238.1 pounds (108 kilograms).

Before the fight, Nielsen (64-2, 43 KOs) had acknowledged that Holyfield was the favorite, but he promised the fight wouldn’t be a walkover. He spent eight months in an intensive training camp in Germany to prepare for his first fight in nine years.

Holyfield’s last appearance in the ring was in January. He was cut above the left eye by an accidental head butt in his fight against Sherman Williams and the bout was ruled a no-contest.

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After the bout, Nielsen said he disagreed with the decision to halt the fight and suggested a rematch.

“That’s enough, I don’t need a rematch,” Holyfield said.

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