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Holyfield stops Botha in eighth round

Evander Holyfield stopped Frans Botha in the eighth round Saturday in a battle of aging heavyweight warriors.

The 47-year-old Holyfield improved to 43-10-2 with 28 wins inside the distance. He knocked down 41-year old with 2:36 remaining in the round with a right to the chin.

Botha beat referee Russell Mora's count, but as Holyfield backed him into a corner with 2:05 remaining Mora stopped the fight.

Botha, who fell to 47-5-3, was ahead on two judges' cards 67-66 when the fight was stopped. The third judge had it 69-64 for Holyfield.

Most of the crowd of about 2,200 people at the Thomas and Mack Center were backing Holyfield, who briefly lost his balance and stumbled into a corner after a right from Botha in the second round.

From there, Holyfield began to take charge and Botha was warned twice in the first three rounds for hitting behind the head.

Botha was also warned in the first round for two blows to the head during a clinch.

The fight was Holyfield's first in Las Vegas since 2003, when he lost to James Toney at Mandalay Bay.

Botha and Holyfield had originally been set to meet in Uganda in February, but that plan fell through when a Swedish promoter failed to come up with advance money.

Holyfield had not fought since December 2008, when he lost a WBA title-fight decision to Russian Nikolai Valuev in Zurich. LAS VEGAS, AFP

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