The boxer who lost a piece of his ear to Mike Tyson is close to announcing his retirement from the sport - at 49.

Fighter and reality TV star Evander Holyfield told fans he was good for one more fight night after defeating Denmark's Brian Nielsen in a bout in May, 2011, but it appears he has had a change of heart as he approaches his 50th birthday next week (beg15Oct12).

The former cruiserweight champion, who has been fighting professionally since 1984, tells the Bbc, "Right now I'm winding it down, I can't get the fights I want. I haven't made it official but the time is coming that I will. I don't have that much fight left in me."

But there's still a defiant glint in his eye and the distant dream of one last fight with either Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko, the Ukrainian brothers who have dominated heavyweight boxing in recent years.

Holyfield adds, "I'm a good enough fighter and I believe I could beat the Klitschko brothers, even at soon to be 50.

"But I'm not willing to pay the price of going through the ranking fights, to fight two or three other people, to get the championship fight. I can't put myself in a position to go and fight these guys that are 28 or 30. At least the Klitschkos are in their late 30s and early 40s. We're in the same boat. I gave the brothers a choice, I've done everything I could. If they don't have that respect for me, I understand that, I move on."

The boxer is currently in Britain promoting an upcoming memorabilia auction featuring items from his 41 years in the ring.

He says, "All that stuff just represents the things that I did. The more stuff gets out there the more people will realise what I accomplished in 41 years of boxing. People wouldn't get the opportunity to see it if it was in my home."