Former heavyweight and cruiserweight world champion Evander Holyfield is scheduled to announce his retirement from the ring on his 50th birthday Friday.

Holyfield fashioned a 44-10-2 record during a remarkable pro career that spanned 27 years and led to him being recognized as one of the top heavyweights of all time.

The Atlanta native had deep ties to Atlantic City. He fought there 11 times, starting with a victory over Eric Winbush at Harrah's Atlantic City in just his second pro bout, on Jan. 20, 1985.

He went on to have a number of memorable fights on the Boardwalk. On Dec. 5, 1987, he retained his WBA and IBF cruiserweight titles with a fourth-round knockout of Dwight Muhammad Qawi at Boardwalk Hall.

Four years later, approximately 20,000 fans filled the same arena to watch Holyfield defend his WBA, WBC and IBF heavyweight belts with a 12-round decision over George Foreman.

When Boarwalk Hall reopened in 2002 after undergoing a four-year, $98 million renovation, Holyfield christened it with an eighth-round TKO over Hasim Rahman that ended because a grapefruit-sized welt had developed on Rahman's forehead.

Holyfield's only loss in Atlantic City came six months later, when Chris Byrd earned the vacant IBF title with a 12-round, unanimous decision at Boardwalk Hall.

PUNCHLINES: Boxing returns to the area on Nov. 10 when several local fighters are set to compete at the New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville. Millville junior-middleweight Thomas LaManna (9-0, 5 KOs), Atlantic City middleweight Isiah Seldon (6-0, 3 KOs) and Atlantic City welterweight Anthony Young (6-0, 2 KOs) are scheduled to fight.

A week later, WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KOs) will defend his belt against former super-bantamweight champ Adrian Broner (24-0, 20 KOs) at Boardwalk Hall and on HBO. The card will also feature a heayweight bout between Seth Mitchell (25-0-1, 19 KOs) and Johnathon Banks (28-1-1, 18 KOs).

On the mixed martial arts scene, Vineland-based Cage Fury Fighting Championships will be at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on Nov. 3. On Dec. 7, Bellator Fighting Championships returns to Caesars Atlantic City.



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