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Matchroom Boxing: Holyfield Conducts Prizefighter Draw In London

Boxing legend Evander Holyfield signalled the return of Prizefighter on Saturday 9 October after performing the draw for the Heavyweights IV.

The five-time World champion performed the draw in central London with a “wildcard” in the draw as promoters Matchroom Sport close in on a big name to complete the line-up for the 14th outing of Barry Hearn’s eight-man, one night tournament, live on Sky Sports – with the winner scooping £32,000.

Old rivals Matt Skelton and Michael Sprott could meet in the semi-finals on the night, potentially giving Sprott the chance to avenge two defeats against the former English, British European and Commonwealth champion Skelton – with Sprott returning to the ring for the first time since his last gasp knockout defeat to Audley Harrison in their European title bout in April.

Sprott faces Danny Hughes in the third quarter-final of the night, the Sunderland fighter who fought in the last Heavyweights outing, knocking out Neil Perkins in the quarter-finals before losing to Harrison in the semis.

Skelton must get past Ali Adams in order to reach the semi-final with the London-based Adams unbeaten in his last nine fights with eight wins.

In the opening bout of the night, Irishman Kevin McBride – famous for being the last man to beat Mike Tyson – take on Manchester’s Michael Holden, the former British champion who has scores to settle with both Sprott and Skelton after losing to the pair earlier in his career.

The winner of that fight will face the winner of the second fight of the night as Carl Baker, the man who defeated Danny Williams in Prizefighter Heavyweights III faces the Wildcard fighter. Matchroom Sport Managing Director Eddie Hearn said the spot will be filled soon, with a series of big names in line for the final spot.

“We want to make sure we get a big name for the wildcard spot because I believe that the final spot is worthy of it,” said Hearn. “We are talking to a couple of names including one in particular who I really want to convince to take this spot – he is a young British fighter who I think could be something special but he needs to showcase that in front of a bigger audience.

“Prizefighter has become a huge springboard for fighters and the boxing fans consider it to be a major title. There is gridlock right now in the domestic heavyweight scene and if I was a fighter in the Heavyweight division I would be looking at winning Prizefighter live on Sky Sports and in front of a massive audience to bypass them all.”

After completing the draw for the night, Holyfield said that the fans can expect a furious night of action on Saturday 9 October – but he won’t be taking that Wildcard spot!

“When you have three rounds you don't have time to try and extend the game - you can just go out and give your best – it is almost like an amateur fight,” said Holyfield. “At my age, your body doesn’t recover – you need more than one hour, you need three hours! When I get tired these days, that’s it!”

Prizefighter Heavyweights IV Draw:
Michael Holden v Kevin McBride
Wildcard v Carl Baker
Michael Sprott v Danny Hughes
Matt Skelton v Ali Adams

Tickets for Prizefighter Heavyweights IV are available now at £35 (unreserved), £60 (ringside) and £100 (VIP) – call Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900.

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