By Dave Wilcox
On November 13th, 2004, I witnessed what could only be described as a sad day for Boxing. Evander Holyfield who was coming off a humiliating defeat at the hands of James Toney one-year earlier, was given a one-sided beating at the hands of Larry Donald at the legendary Madison Square Garden. Don’t get me wrong, Larry Donald is no stiff. He has had a respectable career and has actually beaten some pretty good fighters. Of course the majority of those good wins were about 10 years ago, but who’s counting.
“The Legend” should have been a nice work out for Holyfield to get some rounds in and get ready for a real fight down the road. Instead, we saw a fatigued and battered Holyfield get a whupping from the feather fisted Donald. If an ordinary fighter loses to Donald, you might chalk it up to that tough boxing style of Larry Donald and blame that for your difficulties. But not the great Evander Holyfield! He should not have any problems with a guy like Larry Donald. I realize this topic is a bit worn, but damn it, I’m tired of seeing my Boxing heroes go out like this.
As it turns out, the “Real Deal” is set to have a bout in Germany on December 17. An opponent has not been named yet, but I would imagine Don King will match him in a way to protect Evander from too much damage. At least I hope he would. The problem with Holyfield fighting against set-up fighters is the fact that if he continues to win, King will put him in a dangerous situation I’m afraid. Make no mistake about it, Evander Holyfield is a shot fighter and cannot compete at the highest level anymore.
Even with the state of the current batch of Heavyweights, he would still be on the outside looking in. Just like his contemporary Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield can still probably sell plenty of tickets, but he can no longer fight at a competitive level. The promoters don’t care if Holyfield gets hurt or killed. As long as the butts are in the seats, these guys will get fights. Once the permanent brain damage sets in and they are no longer a money train for these promoters, I guarantee you these once great fighters won’t get a return phone call from these blood suckers.
I do realize that Evander Holyfield is a grown man and can make his own decisions. He obviously wants to fight and still thinks he can. In fact, every time I see him speak, he says he will keep fighting until he wins back “his” undisputed Heavyweight championship back. Hate to break it to him, but that day will never come.
Holyfield has fired people in his camp because they have tried to convince him that he shouldn’t fight any longer. Anyone that doesn’t buy in to his dream has been kicked out of his camp. So that now leaves him with merely yes men in his corner. So now we have only promoters and yes men looking after his best interests. Ask Mike Tyson how helpful yes men are. He might have a few Jay Bright and Aaron Snowell stories for you.
I’m not Evander’s accountant, so I won’t try to play one of my keyboard, but I can’t imagine that he is fighting for the money alone. The guy has made millions and could continue to do so outside the ring. Endorsements and speaking engagements alone could keep him above sea level.
The bottom line is that I love Evander Holyfield as a fighter and have nothing but respect for what he has accomplished in the Ring. He was a guy that outworked his opponent. He trained harder than you and he wanted it more. What he might have lacked in size and power, he made up with skill and determination. It’s those same attributes that might unfortunately give the Evander Holyfield story a unhappy ending. I hope nothing but the best for Holyfield and at this point the best for him would be to never fight again.
I hate reality shows with a passion. I think they the worst form of television. My wife watches every single one while I hide in the other room with Sportscenter on. Having said that, I can’t believe I heard of one that actually intrigues me a bit. When I heard that Larry “Engelbert” Holmes was going to be on a reality show and would be showing off his vocal chops, I must admit that I was looking forward to it. Larry Holmes is my favorite all-time heavyweight and the thought of him singing made me laugh. The once bitter and media unfriendly Holmes has now become kind of a laid back funny guy in his old age. That and of course the long history of Singing Heavyweight Champs. Who can forget Joe Frazier belting out the Lite Beer from Miller song? If all goes well, maybe Larry can put Holyfield in the act as a dancer and we can have the Heavyweight Vaudeville road show. The possibilities are endless. Good Luck Engelbert!
If John Ruiz wasn’t already the most hated man in Boxing, he most certainly is now. Ruiz has filed a lawsuit against James Toney for his so-called steroid abuse before their bout earlier this year. It’s bad enough that Ruiz has lost his title to Middleweights twice. Now he feels it necessary to sue Toney? What is he thinking? He must be hanging around with King too much and has lawsuit on the brain. I have a better idea for you Ruiz, why don’t you give Toney a rematch and see if you can actually win his title back in the ring. Yes I said it, it is Toney’s title. Toney broke the rules and was punished accordingly, but to hear Ruiz say he is defending “his” title is hilarious.
If he was truly concerned about Boxing’s image and the rules that govern the sport, he would have given James Toney an immediate rematch to prove who the better man is. That and he would fire Don King. Of course his morals only go as far as King’s checkbook I suppose. I like to call that selective character. I’m sure Ruiz will prove me wrong when defends against Valuev…yeah right!
For awhile it has been reported that Jamie Foxx was trying to secure the lead in a Mike Tyson big screen movie. What a great casting job that would be. Jamie Foxx was absolutely eerie as Ray Charles in last year’s biography that earned Foxx an Academy Award. Jamie Foxx is not only a fabulous actor, but his impression skills are second to none. Anyone remember his work in Ali? That was a dreadful movie that was made watchable by Foxx’s performance as Drew “Bundini” Brown. I am usually very critical of Tyson, but I would be first in line to see this picture. In fact, I would be quite pleased if the only time I ever see Tyson in the ring again was in a movie with Jamie Foxx portraying him.
- Oscar De La Hoya fighting Mayorga doesn’t do much for me. I think Mayorga is made to order for De La Hoya. I would much rather see Oscar fight Judah or Margarito. With a final bout against Winky Wright.
- Speaking of Oscar, was I the only one who thought his World Cup idea was a bad one? The nationality thing is just another way for promoters to make money without having to put up the fights we want to see. Mexico vs. Puerto Rico? Isn’t that why we have the Olympics. This is just a vehicle for promoters to have sold out crowds without having to pay top dollar for talent.
- Angels, Red Sox and now the White Sox? What the hell is going on here? What’s next, the Cubs winning a World Series?