Boxing


Evander Holyfield Talks Comeback, David Haye

Evander Holyfieldby James Slater - On a number of occasions, Britain's David Haye has spoken of how he will emulate the achievements of the great Evander Holyfield, by going up from cruiserweight to unify the heavyweight titles also. "The Real Deal" was the undisputed cruiserweight king in the late 1980s, before moving up to become the undisputed ruler at heavyweight in 1990. Haye was seen as the main man at cruiserweight in 2008 (although he did not add the IBF strap to the Ring magazine, WBC, WBA ad WBO titles he won), and now, in late 2009, "The Hayemaker" is weeks away from going for his first heavyweight title; against WBA boss Nikolai Valuev.

Thus far, Holyfield has never really spoken much about Haye and his plans to follow his lead, but in an interview with The BBC, the 46-year-old legend did give his opinion on the man who admires him so much. And guess what? According to Evander it's possible he and Haye could even wind up fighting next year!

Holyfield, who has been inactive since his own fight with Nikolai Valuev (when he lost a very close and debatable decision in Switzerland last December) said he is planning to fight again in November of this year, and then, he says, he will be fighting for a world title next Spring.

First though, Evander spoke about the comparisons that have been made between he and Haye.

"We're different, I didn't have one fight and then get my opportunity," Holyfield told BBC. "I moved up in 1988 and had six fights in two years before I was finally ranked number one and got the opportunity to fight the winner of Mike Tyson-Buster Douglas. When people try to compare me to David Haye, I say, "wait a minute, I fought six heavyweights and beat them, they didn't make me number one contender straight away."

And Evander sure did fight and earn his number one spot - seeing off good men like Pinklon Thomas, Mike Dokes and the unbeaten Alex Stewart. Holyfield is right to say how Haye has been given his shot at a heavyweight title so much quicker than he was given his, and he is correct to question whether or not Haye is good enough to win it.

"David Haye only fought one fight [up at heavyweight] (actually, Haye has beaten two heavies; Tomasz Bonin and Monte Barrett) and it will only tell you how good he is by how well he does in the fight with Valuev," Holyfield said. "He's a very skilful fighter, but he's moving up to the heavyweight division and he's fighting a giant."

The former four-time heavyweight king then moved on to the subject of his latest comeback, which he says will see him fight for a fifth heavyweight championship.

"I'll be fighting in November and hopefully in February or March I'll be fighting for a world title," he said. "It's not a dream, it's reality, it just hasn't happened yet. If I become world champion I won't fight him [Haye], but if he gets the belt first I will."

There is no word yet on who Holyfield will fight in November, or where, and it's tough to see how "The Real Deal" will be fighting for any legit version of the heavyweight championship next February or March. He certainly won't be fighting WBC champ Vitali Klitschko, who is next rumoured to be boxing in December, Evander won't be going in with IBF and WBO ruler Wladimir Klitschko, who will next faces Eddie Chambers, and that just leaves the WBA belt. But the WBA have made it clear that November 7th's Valuev-Haye winner must make a first defence against former champ John Ruiz.

Is Holyfield fooling himself? Would we really want to see him fight Valuev again or see him fight Haye anyway? The idea of the living legend in there with the fast and hard-hitting Haye is surely enough to worry any fight fan.

Article posted on 02.10.2009



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