There may be more than one heavyweight champion if Evander Holyfield goes through with plans to defend his title against former champion George Foreman on April 19 in Atlantic City, N.J.
The outcome of the fight won't matter to the World Boxing Council, which threatened Tuesday to strip Holyfield of his crown should he fail to defend first against former champion Mike Tyson. That could change, however, should Tyson agree to stand aside - as Holyfield did for the Tyson-Buster Douglas fight - and await the winner, the WBC said in a statement.Holyfield is recognized as champion by all three major boxing organizations. He took the title from Douglas, who weighed 246 pounds, with a third-round knockout Oct. 25 at Las Vegas.
Douglas, weighing 231 1/2 pounds, was a stunning upset winner over Tyson with a 10th-round knockout last February in Tokyo.
WBC president Jose Sulaiman said in a statement issued from his Mexico City office that his organization approved Tyson's defense against Douglas on the condition that the winner meet Holyfield. He said the WBC also mandated on Feb. 21 that the winner of the Holyfield-Douglas bout fight Tyson.
"We believe that exactly the same conditions should pervail," Sulaiman said. "If Tyson agrees, as Holyfield did in the past, the WBC would have no objections to Holyfield-Foreman, as it is the opinion of WBC members recently consulted."
Sulaiman did not say when members were consulted or when the matter would be put to a vote by the WBC's executive council.
"While we realize that in professional boxing every party strives for his own interest, it is our obligation to act in what the members of the WBC consider justice," Sulaiman said.
Duva said the Holyfield-Foreman fight will be staged by Trump Plaza. Trump, which had been bidding against Caesars Palace, paid a reported $10 million to $12 million as a site fee to put the bout in the Atlantic City Convention Center.
The WBC threat is the latest involving the title, subjected during the last year to lawsuits over opponents, sites, fighter management and promotors.
"By showcasing Evander Holyfield, George Foreman and Mike Tyson, we've landed the biggest blockbusters in boxing today," Donald J. Trump said in a statement. "These are the big three the public wants to see and has been clamoring for."