Wrongly, sadly, and pathetically, shopworn former four-time heavyweight titleholder Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield decided against retiring after turning 50 on Friday.
“I already told people that I was going to retire,” said Holyfield, also a past cruiserweight king who captured a bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and is ranked as the Greatest Cruiserweight of all time by The Boxing Scene. “But this morning, when I woke up, I thought about it some more and now I’m not going to retire.”
Holyfield (44-10-2, 29 KOs), who has fought boxing legends Lennox Lewis, George Foreman, Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe and Larry Holmes since turning professional in November 1984, is determined to throw fists with either Ring Magazine, IBF, IBO and WBO champ “Dr. Steelhammer” Wladimir Klitschko or his older brother, WBC heavyweight titlist “Dr. Iron Fist” Vitali Klitschko, before hanging up the gloves.
Mercifully, the Klitschko brothers refuse to batter Holyfield and have made it emphatically clear to “The Real Deal” they aren’t going to waiver from their honorable stance.
Holyfield, who has been defeated in five of his last 12 bouts, hasn’t stepped into the squared circle since earning a 10th round TKO victory over Denmark’s Brian Nielsen in July 2011.
“Evander is a classic case of not letting go,” said Ed LaVache, the owner of the Boston Boxing Club in Allston. “For a lot of these guys, boxing is all they know and it’s the only way for them to make money. So, they keep fighting until the fight is lost in them.”
Holyfield, who has long been a rumored abuser of performance enhancing drugs, was confident, or delusional, that he would become a five-time heavyweight champ before moving with other geriatrics to Del Boca Vista.
“The Real Deal” is a warrior who deserves to be remembered as the legendary prizefighter he was during his heyday.
Unfortunately, Holyfield’s greatest attributes, his unrelenting will and confidence, are also his worst traits.
Evander Holyfield hasn’t “woke up” thinking rationally since the late 1990s and “The Real Deal” is destined to become a tragic figure.by