Holyfield Loses Decision To Ibragimov

evander holyfield12.10.07 - By Matthew Hurley: Evander Holyfield lost out on his bid to win a fifth heavyweight title belt in dropping a lopsided unanimous decision to the defending WBO champion Sultan Ibragimov. The final scores were 118-110, 117-111 and 117-111.

Ibragimov remained undefeated while Holyfield, who turns 45 next week, fell to 42-9-2.

Holyfield came out aggressively in the early rounds and managed to momentarily stun Ibragimov with a right jab at the end of the second round. But as the fight progressed Holyfield’s forward momentum began to slow and the crafty Russian began to pick his punches, landing economically. In the sixth round Holyfield’s punch output slowed considerably and the champion took advantage with hooks and carefully placed counter shots..

By the ninth round Holyfield seemed a spent force as he backed off onto the ropes, unable to pull the trigger and unable to keep Ibragimov off of him. With two minutes left in the 11th round Ibragimov connected with another right hook that sent Holyfield to the canvas. Holyfield gathered himself and got to his feet but fought the remainder of the round in retreat. In the twelfth round Evander tried to mount a vain comeback but he couldn’t muster enough energy to sustain an attack.

This was the first loss Evander has suffered in his last five bouts since this latest comeback. Holyfield has maintained that he wants to unify the titles before he retires, a notion that many have found either grandiose or pig-headed. Whether or not he accepts his fate will probably be superfluous because it will be hard to envision the aging fighter ever getting this close to a title shot again. Indeed he was a substitute in this bout and really only got the shot because of his name.

Ibragimov, 32 years old, will now campaign to unify the titles.

It would be nice to see Holyfield call it a career after this fight and retire, thereby beginning the five year countdown until he can be voted into the boxing hall of fame. Holyfield has yet to decide what he will do in the future but his stubbornness may well convince him to continue this desperate attempt at regaining past glories. He tried admirably in this last run against marginal competition and it didn’t work out. He has nothing left to prove. He should retire.

Article posted on 13.10.2007

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