Upcoming Big Fight Predictions – Part 1: Holyfield vs Ibragimov

12.10.07 - Neil Goodman Whilst Holyfield continues his seemingly never ending fight against old father time; tonight he must also contend with the WBO Champion, Sultan Ibragimov. The champion, undefeated, toppled Shannon Briggs off his perch and in doing so added to his reputation as perhaps the sleeper of the division..

For Holyfield, this is a step up in class, compared with the journeymen he has been tackling in his most recent comeback. Whilst Holyfield may be fooling himself into think he is getting back into his old grove; many remain unconvinced. In his last outing he beat, once fringe contender, Lou Savarese. The bout, whilst entertaining, did not really demonstrate that Holyfield could get himself back into the world title picture.

In spurts Holyfield put his punches together well and looked aggressive; however, these factors are countered by his inability to sustain the attacks and furthermore on more than one occasion Holyfield got rocked by uppercuts (by a relatively slow handed opponent).

It is an awkward situation, whilst you have to admire Holyfields courage and persistence, there comes a point surely when one would hope Evander would take a long hard look in the mirror and say ‘You know what, perhaps I don’t need this anymore’.

A remember reading through one of my old boxing magazines a few months back and I read through the fight report of Holyfield versus Cooper. I am sure you remember the outcome, Holyfield winning (TKO 7), but even back then in 1991 there were suggestions that Holyfield was past his best. Holyfield has of course subsequently laughed in the face of his critic’s time again; beating Bowe and Tyson, blitzing Moorer in their rematch and extending Lennox Lewis.

For every good showing though, there have been plenty of under par outings; the laboured efforts against Ruiz, Czyz and in particularly the trouncing by Toney.

Look I do not mean to pour cold water on the last few embers of Holyfields fistic legacy; he is after all one of my favourite contemporary fighters. For the first battled against Bowe alone Holyfield should waltz into the Hall of Fame; what an epic fight that was!

Tonight Holyfield has two or three goals in mind; these being to become the second oldest heavyweight champion in history, to become a world champion for a fifth time and also this being the first major step towards once again becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion. Now if we take a quick trip to reality…in Ibragimov he faces a far younger, fresher opponent and also one with a 80% KO ratio.

I suggest that if Holyfield makes it past rounds 9 or 10, he might just be able to claim morale victory; but very little else. The biggest question remains; will Holyfield finally be able to accept that it is time to move on?

Article posted on 13.10.2007

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