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Holyfield Mixed on Fighting Tyson

October 23, 1998

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) _ Heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield said Friday that Mike Tyson is not in his boxing future right now. However, Holyfield acknowledged that could change if fans want a rematch.

Tyson got back the license taken from him for biting Holyfield’s ears in a championship fight 15 months ago.

Holyfield again said the Nevada Athletic Commission decision this week was the right one, but added, ``I can’t say he learned his lesson; time tells that.″

Holyfield, the WBA and IBF champion, said he expected to unify the title when he fights WBC titleholder Lennox Lewis in late February or early March.

``Then, I would be the undisputed champ of the world. I guess after that I would see how bad the people want me to fight Mike Tyson,″ Holyfield said.

Holyfield said having another Tyson fight would not be decided by how much he might want a rematch.

``I’ve already beat him twice. So, it’s not how bad I want to beat him, but how bad the people want me to fight him,″ he said.

Holyfield said Lewis is ``the wanted man now.″

``We’re both on contract to fight. The people will get an opportunity to see who is really the best,″ Holyfield said.

Holyfield said he will continue to fight as long as he does well.

The 36-year-old champion was in Jackson with Florida attorney Willie Gary to present computers and a $100,000 check to the Mississippi Schools for the Deaf and Blind.

Kenneth Carpenter, a 16-year-old wrestler on the School for the Deaf team, told Holyfield he was ready to fight him.

``I’ll be free in December,″ the youth told the incredulous Holyfield while getting an autograph.

He looked over the teen-ager, who stood about chest high to Holyfield, and said, ``You really want to fight me? I’ll think about it.″

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