Boxing


Former Heavyweight Champs Holyfield And Bowe Unable To Call It A Day; Both Calling Out The Klitschkos

By James Slater: Back when they were at their peak in the 1990s, former heavyweight Champions Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe gave us a thrill-ogy to rank with the very best. Back in 1992, ‘93 and ‘95, “The Real Deal” and “Big Daddy” were top-class athletes capable of fighting their hearts out. Sadly, both men are delusional enough to think they can reap more glory today, whilst well into their 40s.

In a new interview with French publication L’equipe, 49-year-old Holyfield spoke of his desire to face both Wladimir and Vitali. It seems that now his shot at “regular” WBA heavyweight titlist Alexander Povetkin has gone south (as Povetkin instead faces Cedric Boswell in his maiden defence), Holyfield is focusing on the two siblings.

“For both of them, it is only about where they can get the biggest purse,” Holyfield, 44-10-2(29) said of the two brothers. “Well, they won’t get the purse against second-rate boxers, but against me because I am the best-known active heavyweight. But they don’t want to take risks.”

To many fans, the only risk the two giants do not want to take when it comes to facing an old guy like the former four-time Champ, is of agreeing to fight him and then badly hurting or even permanently damaging Holyfield! Neither brother wishes to get busted for murder, after all. But still Evander continues to talk himself into believing he can win against the two all-conquering Ukrainians.

“I want to retire as heavyweight champion of all federations - I could beat them both,” Holyfield said.

A deeply religious man, Holyfield should seek further guidance from a higher power if he really does think he would stand a chance against either the WBC king or the Ring Magazine, IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO ruler.

As delusional as Holyfield seems to be, however, he has nothing on his one-time rival Bowe. Holyfield has at least been reasonably active as of late, and at a certain level he has proven he can still fight. Bowe? He hasn’t been seen in a ring since his slow-motion points win over journeyman Gene Pukall, who a 271-pound “Big Daddy” defeated on the under-card of the Wladimir Klitschko-Hasim Rahman bout in December of 2008. Despite this inactivity, his age and the fact that he once pleaded brain damage so as to escape a longer jail sentence for kidnapping his wife and kids (in 1997, Bowe eventually sentenced to 17-months for the offence), Riddick feels he can “whoop” both Klitschkos.

In a recent interview with Hank Koebler of Huff Post Sports, 44-year-old Bowe and his agent and friend, Allen Ellison, made it clear the Klitschkos are who they are chasing.

“I had my last fight in Germany, and that’s when I was on the Klitschko’s under-card,” Bowe, 43-1(33) said. “One of them called me ‘Grandpa.’ You know what Grandpa’s gonna do? Grandpa’s gonna tap that ass. If they beat me, that proves they’re better. If they don’t beat me, that proves I’m the cream of the crop still.”

Ellison said that “in one year the champ would knock either of them out,” adding that Bowe needs sufficient time to train. Bowe’s agent also argued how “fighting the Klitschkos would be no problem because they’re older guys too.”

Bowe’s plan, he said, is to “find somebody [to fight] real soon.”

It seems another Bowe comeback is going to be launched in the coming weeks. We don’t know what kind of shape the former Champ is in; from a mental or a physical standpoint - but Ellison is putting would-be promoters on notice: stating that his fighter is ready to return.

“Bowe’s back open for business,” he said. “We’re reaching out to promoters, seeing what we can do to get on the fight cards. Anyone who’s interested in a match-up can go ahead and give me a call.”

Heaven help Bowe if he is persuaded to climb into the ring with some young, hungry fighter. Bowe and Holyfield seem intent on risking themselves by fighting on. All we can do is pray they come to no serious harm. It may seem a long time ago now, but there was a time when both men were likeable, witty and smart guys.

Whoever thought it would end up like this?

Article posted on 01.11.2011



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