Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Commission OKs license for Francois Botha to fight Evander Holyfield

By Anthony Fenech

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | 4:46 p.m.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission tentatively has approved a license for Francois Botha to fight Evander Holyfield on April 10 in Las Vegas.

The approval hinges on a urine test that Botha must pass upon his arrival to the United States.

"I'm looking forward to fighting a great legend in this beautiful city," Botha said in a teleconference Wednesday afternoon at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building.

Commissioners voiced concerns over Botha's drug-testing process in South Africa, where he currently resides, and conditionally approved the license to fight over the age of 35, pending a clean urine sample.

After a 1995 victory over Germany's Axel Schulz, Botha (47-4-3) tested positive for the steroid nandrolone. He was disciplined in Germany and by the New York State Athletic Commission.

"I admitted that I unknowingly had it in my system," he said of the positive test.

The fight is scheduled for April 10 at the Thomas & Mack Center, and on the line is the vacant WBF heavyweight belt.

Roy Jones Jr. (54-6-0) also was awarded a license to fight over the age of 35.

Doctors performed additional cardiac tests on Jones. He said there have been no difficulties.

"My training has been going spectacular," Jones said. "I'm feeling wonderful."

He is fighting Bernard Hopkins on April 3 at Mandalay Bay. He expects to arrive in Las Vegas on March 24.

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