COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield stopped Denmark’s Brian Nielsen on a technical knockout in the 10th round Saturday night.
In the 10th round, the 48-year-old Holyfield pressed Nielson in the corner and the bout was halted after Holyfield landed several jabs in the corner and the Dane spat out some blood. Nielsen said after the bout he was hit by Holyfield’s headbutts.
“My goal still is to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world,” Holyfield said. “This fight showed other champions what I am able to do, but it also taught me I got to be better. The most important is that I didn’t quit. I am not quitter.”
Despite Nielsen being pressed and a swollen eye, Nielsen kept on clowning to provoke Holyfield throughout the bout, prompting his trainer, Paul Duvill, to beg him to stop fooling around and focus on Holyfield.
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. Hee kept coming back,” Holyfield said. “He fought a very courageous fight.”
Nielsen, with a bag of ice on his bloodied face, said he disagreed with the decision to halt the fight. He suggested a rematch to Holyfield.
“That’s enough. I don’t need a rematch,” Holyfield said, laughing.
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.
The audience at the soldout 2,100-seat Copenhagen Concert Hall included giant Russian boxer Nikolai Valuev and Denmark’s Mikkel Kessler, who was forced to pull out of the Super Six tournament because of an eye injury.