The bout between Muhammad Ali and World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Larry Holmes is still on but it will not be held July 11 and it will not be in Brazil.
Copromoter Murad Muhammad said yesterday he will announce a new site "in a few days." He added that the bout will be pushed back at least a month.
Ali, at his training camp in Deer Lake, Pa., denied that the bout has been abandoned, as was reported Monday.
"I've agreed," Ali said. "Holmes has agreed. The money's there; everything's set."
The former champion added: "The soccer-field people down there in Rio de Janeiro don't want the field messed up with all the chairs, so we're shopping around for another place. But the fight is on . . . it's on."
Murad Muhammad, who is copromoting the bout with Don King, told the Associated Press that legal action has been an obstacle, "but that was all taken care of at noon Monday."
Muhammad said a legal problem resulted when another promoter, Greg Campbell, who had planned a bout between Ali and World Boxing Association titleholder Mike Weaver, obtained an injunction to prevent the Ali-Holmes bout until his alleged claim on Ali's services was adjudicated.
Promoter Muhammad said Campbell was given 11 days to find investors for an Ali-Weaver bout and, Muhammad said, "the deadline passed Monday at noon and he (Campbell) failed to come up with the money."
Muhammad said that Ali and Holmes had received advance payments -- $250,000 for Ali and $100,000 for Holmes -- and that letters of credit for the rest of their purses were due to be deposited by midnight Thursday. Ali reportedly will receive $8 million for the fight, Holmes $4 million.
Harold Smith, executive director of Muhammad Ali Sports Enterprises, was reported on Monday as saying the bout was off. Ali said in the past that Smith is not authorized to speak for him in connection with his professional bouts. Ali's organization includes his amateur boxing team.