Boxing


Holyfield Ready For Next Task

SAN ANTONIO--And, on the Seventh Day, Evander Holyfield rested. The four-time world heavyweight champion, who scored a stirring victory over Fast Fres Oquendo here Friday night in the Alamodome (as seen on PPV in 130 countries), went to church Sunday morning. But Holyfield did not rest long. "After the fight, after working so hard on the whole promotion for six weeks, the grueling training regimen and then going 12 hard rounds, I told Evander he should at least take a week off. So I surprised when Evander phoned me this afternoon and said he was ready to go back to work. He does not want time for rest and recreation. I listen to him not only as a boxing legend but as my business partner and co-promoter," Murad Muhammad of M& M Sports said.

"But Evander said. 'Let's move on the next task.' That is how deeply focused this great athlete is on his quest to make history as the first five-time heavyweight champion. " (Holyfield's company is called Real Deal Events..

Holyfield, age 44, knocked Oquendo down in the opening round of the main event which was witnessed by an enthusiastic crowd of 10,133. With steady jabs and hooks and persistent body punching, Holyfield came away with a unanimous decision.

"Evander was just excellent," Muhammad said. "Every boxing commission in the world should license him now. They should all follow Texas' lead. He has had two fights in Texas and he has two solid victories. After Holyfield put Fres down, Fres changed his plan. He switched from a plan for victory to a plan for survival. I can't blame Oquendo for that. If I was Oquendo, I would've started running,holding and clutching also. That just shows the man is not stupid."

With the backing of San Antonio business mogul/civic leader Red McCombs, the former owner of the NBA Spurs and the NFL Vikings, the promotion was a smash hit in this area. The obvious question asked immediately was if Holyfield will return to the Alamodome.

"We're thinking about that because from Mr. Mccombs on down, the community showed us love. We were embraced by the churches, the schools, the media,. law enforcement and the military people. When we got endorsed by Red, when he praised the show and Evander, well that was one legend praising another legend. That really put the icing on the cake," Muhammad said. "We also had two basketall superstars, George "Iceman" and Tim Hardaway, endorsing us."

Muhammad said Houston, where Holyfield trains, and Memphis are bidding for the next Holyfield bout. Muhammad also said unnamed foreign countries are also calling.

"Houston figures in there because Evander has made it his second home. It would also be logical because we had such great receptions in Dallas and San Antonio. But now Memphis wants in. Mayor Willie Herenton even sent his lawyer, Charles Carpenter, into San Antonio to arrange a meeting with us. My Event Coordinator, Akbar Muhammad, and I are looking at numerous proposals."

Muhammad said all four governing bodies--WBC, WBA, IBF and the WBO--should now give Holyfield a suitably high ranking.

"We ask that, not as any favor, but strictly on merit. By beating Oquendo and scoring an upset over this rugged contender, Holyfield proved he has plenty left. So we appeal to Jose Sulaiman, Gilberto Mendoza Sr. and Jr., to Marian Muhammad and to Paco Valcarcel to rank Evander properly."

Muhammad also tipped his cap to the co-featured bout fighters who also thrilled the fans in the seats and the TV audience. Jose Navarro captured a split verdict over local Gabriel Elizondo and, in a real thriller, Golden Johnson and Oscar Diaz waged a bloody war which Johnson won when cuts prevented Diaz from continuing.

"We had three great bouts on TV," Muhammad said. "The price was $44.95 but, think about that. It was really $15 per fight. I thank matchmaker Chris Middendorf and Navarro, Elizondo, Johnson and Diaz for giving the customers so many thrills. I also want to thank George Greenberg, Doug Levy and President Bob Thompson from Fox who put together such a great telecast along with producer/director Bob Steinfeld. I must also say that the talent, Chris Rose, John Salley, Chris Byrd, Rich Marotta, Barry Tompkins and Sean O'Grady were also great. And don't forget Rick Kulis. It all made for a memorable night."

Article posted on 13.11.2006



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