The five-men Championship Committee of the World Boxing Federation after consideration of all arguments has decided against sanctioning the proposed second title defence of its world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield against Denmark’s Brian Nielsen.
The main reason, obviously, is that 46-year-old Nielsen, while sporting a glossy record of 64-2 (43), has been out of the ring for almost a decade. The Holyfield vs Nielsen fight is scheduled for May 7 in Copenhagen, Denmark and will be promoted by Sauerland Event. WBF president Howard Goldberg, who is part of the Championship Committee, said: “While Brian Nielsen a decade ago posed threats to heavyweights worldwide, he has not fought in nine years and thus does not qualify to contest a WBF world title at this point. We have no problem with this fight taking place, but certainly the WBF will not approve it as for our title.”
Jean Marcel Nartz, the vice president of the WBF, further explained the decision: “Although the WBF is a world boxing sanctioning body and although we are a business as well, our primary business is to ensure that our fights are quality matchups, that fighters are deserving of title opportunities and that the standards we aim for are not compromised in order to make a quick buck.” While Holyfield will remain WBF champion, should he lose to Nielsen his title will automatically be declared vacant.