LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield will promote an 11-fight card at Freedom Hall with a championship main event in the venue’s first professional bout since Danny Williams upset ex-champ Mike Tyson in July 2004.
Matchups will be determined for the June 24 televised event featuring eight professional and three amateur bouts with local boxers. The card is part of the city’s “I Am Ali” festival honoring late heavyweight great and Louisville native Muhammad Ali, who died last June. A tribute to “The Greatest” hosted by Holyfield is planned for the inaugural event of the “Real Deal” boxing series created by the four-time champion’s sports promotion company.
Holyfield called Ali an inspiration in a release Friday and added, “this event allows me to pay tribute to his legacy.”
The fight will also take place nearly 13 years after the lightly-regarded Williams beat the hard-punching Tyson in the latest in a series of comeback fights for the former champ.
Despite a 17-month layoff, Tyson entered the July 30, 2004 match as a big favorite over the Brit but was knocked out late in the fourth round.
Ali’s daughter, Laila, defended her IWBF super middleweight championship with a ninth-round TKO of Monica Nunez on the undercard in her father’s hometown.
Ali began his storied pro career at Freedom Hall with a six-round knockout of Tunney Hunsaker on Oct. 29, 1960.