Evander Holyfield brings professional boxing back to Louisville

Evander Holyfield brings professional boxing back to Louisville

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – June 24 is the date for boxing fans to circle on their calendars. That's the day Louisville hopes its boxing status is returned to its former glory.

The city hasn't seen a high profile professional fight since Mike Tyson and Layla Ali both had bouts in Freedom Hall in 2004.

Another champ, Evander Holyfield, is leading this comeback.

"In this city and state we didn't have everybody working together to do this," Joe Reeves, a partner at local TKO Boxing said. "This was the home of the greatest."

Friday, public officials joined boxing leaders to announce the end of the city's drought.

Holyfield announced his company is bringing a live, televised fight to Louisville on June 24 to be held in Freedom Hall.

"The purpose is giving someone else the opportunity," he said.

That wasn't the four-time champ's only announcement Friday, he also brought contract news for one of Louisville's own.

Carlos Dixon is a local fighter who's grades were suffering when his father gave him an ultimatum.

"I told him he had a week to find a sport," James Dixon, his father and coach said.

"I chose boxing," the younger Dixon said. "He didn't think I was going to stick with it, and then I started to like it and here we are."

Holyfield's company signed Dixon to a contract turning the amateur champ into a professional.

"He's got the gifts and all he's got to do now is stick to it," Holyfield said.

Dixon will be one of the professional fights in June. For Holyfield, bring back the sport is both charity and passion.

"You have all these kids, everybody going different directions and we need something positive," Holyfield said.

Louisville's boxing past is legend.

"It's just like a homecoming," James Dixon said.

Right now, its future looks as bright as the Freedom Hall lights.

WATCH: William Joy's report here

"I'm just grateful I get this opportunity," Carlos Dixon said. "Time to put this city back on the map."

There are plans to continue to bring more fights to the Louisville area in the future, but promoters didn't release any details on when that would happen.

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