Holyfield/Savarese Notes and Quotes

07.06.07 - Evander Holyfield and Lou Savarese are in full swing at their respective training camps in Houston, TX. As of this week both fighters will have begun sparring . . . On Thursday, May 31 Evander visited the Houston Texans mini-camp and gave the NFL players a motivational speech about what it takes to become a boxing champion. The team then presented Holyfield with a personalized jersey saying “Real Deal” across the back and the number five emblazoned on both sides—five in reference to Evander’s quest to win his fifth world heavyweight championship . . . Both fighters aren’t expected to arrive in El Paso until one week prior to the fight . . ..


Trainer Ronnie Shields: “It doesn’t take Evander long to get into boxing shape because he arrives in camp well-conditioned. When some guys come to camp I have to start them on the pads because they’re not in good enough shape yet to go right into sparring. Evander’s different.” Shields, who also trains WBA Lightweight Champion Juan Diaz and super featherweight boxing contender Rocky Juarez, recognizes that his approach to training a veteran like Holyfield is much different than it is for the young guys. “With a veteran like Evander the most important thing is conditioning. At a certain point when you’ve fought for as long as he has you know what to do. My job is not so much to teach him as it is to lead him. Sometimes veterans will try and put the cart before the horse. I’m there to make sure he does things in the right order. For ex., There are certain times you should jab; and there are times when you shouldn’t. I’m there to point those things out” . . .

Evander Holyfield on sparring: “When you know what you’re supposed to do, you don’t need as much sparring. When you’re experienced a lot of sparring is just about making adjustments. The only thing I need it for is to get my timing down . . . I remember what it was like to spar everyday. I remember before my first pro fight in Atlanta I was sparring with Jimmy Young. For a while he had me looking foolish. I kept saying to myself: ‘You mean to tell me this man is in his 40s and you’re in your 20s and you can’t hit this guy?’ It was embarrassing. Plus, at the time he had a stomach and he’d sit there laughing. I’d go in their and try and kill him and keep missing. But then I learned. I used my brain. I knew he’d slip four punches, so I’d throw eight so that he’d get hit with the last four. And I learned not to throw everything I had behind every punch. You have to have balance. Otherwise, you leave yourself wide-open to be countered. Now I out-think the young guys. I play with their minds. You can’t beat knowledge” . . .


Lou Savarese is a busy man. When he’s not under the lights slugging it out with his opponent, the Bronx, NY native is under the lights slugging it out with a director. The New York native moonlights as an actor and has some impressive credits on his resume. He played the role of Max Baer in the ESPN boxing documentary Cinderella Man: The James J. Braddock Story, and has appeared on the television programs The Sopranos, The Jury, and Law & Order: SVU. Next week Savarese will appear on the daytime drama Guiding Light in the role of Joey the Poker Player. Nicky’s Game (starring Bert Young and John Ventimiglia) and A Matter of Honor (starring Michael Bolger and Olympia Dukakis) are just two of the films he has appeared in. Click on and watch the trailer for Knock Knock—an indie-film in which Savarese plays Ricco the serial killer. Add this to his motivational speaking and his real estate holdings, and fans are left wondering why he ever returned to the ring?

“I missed the sport when I left. The division is wide open, and I like my chances, style-wise against Evander. I don’t think this is a good fight for him. I’m bigger and stronger.” But isn’t it difficult to find the motivation at this point in his life with so many other responsibilities? “It’s easier to train now then it was when I was young. There are fewer distractions. Marriage is conducive to training.” Savarese admits that he misses playing Little League coach for his sons Ciro (seven) and Luca (six), but he believes his goal is within reach: “A world heavyweight title shot looks attainable. A win over Evander expedites the process.”

Trainer Bob Benton says that there were two guys that Savarese wanted when he decided to return to boxing: Valuev and Holyfield. “Lou believes that Evander is not as busy as he used to be and that he doesn’t move as much.” Benton agrees likes Savarese’s chances on June 30: “This is the best Lou has looked in a long time. He’s still hungry. He’s like a 20-year-old kid in camp. He works hard to the point of out-working the young guys, just like Evander does. This is the first time that Lou has been completely healthy since the Witherspoon fight. He went through a lot of injuries. The time off was the best thing for him.”

June 30 information:

The 10 round heavyweight showdown between Evander Holyfield and Lou Savarese will headline an exciting boxing PPV fight card that will also feature electrifying featherweight Jason Litzau (21-1, 18 KO’s) and undefeated El Paso heavyweight bomber David Rodriguez (24-0, 23 KO’s).

"The Road to the Heavyweight Championship!"
is available LIVE on PAY-PER-VIEW Saturday, June 30th on Events IN DEMAND, DirecTV channel 123, and all cable pay-per-view services beginning at 9 pm EST/6 pm PST. Main Events is working with TVN Entertainment, iNDemand, and DirecTV on this broadcast. The suggested retail price is $29.95.

Article posted on 07.06.2007

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