Boxing


Eighteen Years And A Day On From His First Epic With Riddick Bowe, Evander Holyfield Will Rumble Again!

By James Slater: Stubborn old warhorse Evander Holyfield refuses to call it quits and retire, and the 48-year-old (on Oct. 19th) is set to fight again on November 12th, when he will meet durable journeyman Sherman Williams at The Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Incredibly, this fight will take place eighteen years and a day on from “The Real Deal’s” first epic war with arch-rival Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe.

As long ago as immediately after that great fight, the very first pro defeat for Holyfield, then a mere 30-years-of-age, the cries for his retirement were heard. Who would have believed then that the “too small,” the “too brave for his own good” warrior would still be slinging leather over eighteen years later? But Evander isn’t just still fighting, he is hoping he will fight once more for the world title. And the scary thing is, he just might get another crack at regaining one of his old belts.

Holyfield is ready and willing, he says, to go in there with either Klitschko brother or David Haye. Should he do as expected and defeat the 34-11-2(19) Williams (who has been stopped just once as a pro), Holyfield, due to his big-name value, could wind up getting what he thinks he wants next year. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if WBA ruler David Haye opted to defend against Holyfield next spring (assuming Haye gets past Audley Harrison first!)

No, the BBB of C wouldn’t be keen on allowing the fight to go ahead, but Haye could take his show abroad, perhaps making his first U.S defence. This is all speculation on my part, of course, but don’t be shocked if Haye looks at Holyfield and thinks, “why not?”

More disturbingly is the fact that WBC president Jose Sualiaman said quite recently (so reports told us) that his organisation would sanction a fight between Evander and the WBC champ, Vitali Klitschko. It seems that as long as he keeps asking for title opportunities, Holyfield will eventually be granted one. How many world title shots has Evander had now, as a heavyweight? Including the WBO belt, an incredible eight times he has entered the ring in a bid to either win or regain the title.

It seems only a brutal stoppage defeat - which would almost certainly come should he fight Haye or Kitschko - will finally persuade Holyfield to hang up the gloves. This won’t happen in the Williams fight, so the show will go on until next year at least.

Who would have believed back when this great fighter was giving us one half of the finest heavyweight title fight of the 1990s, he would still be taking punches close to twenty years later? Holyfield always seemed to be one of the smart ones, a fighter who would walk away from boxing on top, on his own terms. No-one will tell Evander when to walk away, so in effect he will be quitting the sport on his own terms - but no way does this living legend go out with a win.

Only a heavy defeat will bring down the curtain on the career of the fighter who has been entertaining us all for over 25-years. Long gone are Evander’s team-mates from that great 1984 Olympic squad: Meldrick Taylor, Pernell Whitaker, Tyrell Biggs, Mark Breland and all the others having gotten out from the dangerous side of the ropes years ago. But Holyfield, who won a bronze medal in LA all those years ago, rumbles on. And we all keep on watching as he does so.

Article posted on 13.10.2010



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