George Foreman, next in line for a shot at the heavyweight championship, Friday predicted he will knock out Evander Holyfield in two rounds.

Foreman has signed to challenge Holyfield, who lifted the title Thursday night with a third-round knockout of Buster Douglas."I'm the next heavyweight champion of the world," Foreman told UPI in a phone conversation from his Houston home. "I said the same thing once before.

"I'll knock him out in two rounds, you heard it here first."

Foreman, 42, won the championship from Joe Frazier in 1973 and lost it to Muhammad Ali in 1974. He ended a 10-year retirement in 1987, and has won 24 comeback bouts despite being laughed at for his weight and ponderous movement.

Foreman said Holyfield will be giving away a lot more than 38 pounds next time. The new champion weighed 208 Thursday night, compared to Douglas's 246.

"I'll weigh no less than 250 and no more than 265," Foreman said. "I don't train to get my weight down, I train to get up."

Despite being overweight, Foreman said there are no similarities to he and Douglas.

"I'm a knockout artist," he said. "I have over 70 fights and 65 were knockouts. Buster Douglas had only 35 fights, and he'd been knocked out and quit and everything else. Don't compare me to Buster Douglas - that's an insult.

"Some big guys aren't big guys on the inside."

Holyfield said he must count on his speed and movement to defeat Foreman.

"George is very powerful," Holyfield said. "Just like against Buster I have to use my speed and conditioning and just do the things I do naturally.

"I'm the kind of guy who can adapt to different styles. A big guy like that, I won't go toward him."

Foreman dismissed any edge in speed Holyfield will enjoy.

"I'm like the lion," Foreman said. "Nature gives him big teeth. He can't go complaining the antelope is quicker. You use whatever nature gives you."

Foreman will earn $12 million compared to Holyfield's $20 million for the title bout. Holyfield's promoter Dan Duva said the fight will be held in March or April, probably in Las Vegas.

Lou Duva, Dan's father and Holyfield's trainer, explained why Foreman will be next.

"We'll go in with a guy heavier than me and finally a guy older than me," said the portly, 68-year-old Duva.

Foreman watched the fight at home, and was part of ESPN's post-fight coverage.

"They came down and hooked me up for free," Foreman said. "Otherwise, I would've had to sneak over somebody's house and watch it."

Foreman said he was not rooting for Holyfield, despite his contract to fight him next.

"I do believe whoever won that fight would fight me next," Foreman said.

Promoter Duva said he would push through with the Foreman fight despite some pressure from boxing's governing groups to force the new champion to take on Tyson next.