Evander Holyfield - He’s Not The “Real Deal” Anymore
08.09.04 - By Matthew Hurley: In the wake of Lamon Brewster’s unexpectedly close victory over unheralded sparring partner Kali Meehan two things became clear. One, Brewster is a pedestrian belt holder at best – a really good guy, but as underachieving as an average heavyweight could possibly be. And two, Don King is willing to sacrifice any fighter in order to make a buck. I simply could not have been the only person watching the post fight interview with King and Brewster who felt sick when King said that Evander Holyfield will be Brewster’s next opponent. It seemed implausible. But then, viewed from the perspective of a weary boxing scribe (and long suffering fan) it made perfect sense.
Article posted on 08.09.2004
Forget for a moment that Evander should be retired. Forget that this proud champion is slurring his words.Forget that in his last fight he lost, and lost badly, to a fighter (James Toney) who was once a middleweight. Forget all that and ask yourself, what the hell has this fighter done to deserve a title shot? In his last eight fights Evander has compiled a scintillating record of two wins, four losses and two draws. In his last two fights he was easily out pointed by Chris Byrd and then unceremoniously knocked out in the ninth round by an over-stuffed James Toney – in Toney’s first fight at heavyweight.
Holyfield isn’t even ranked in the top ten by any governing body. But rest assured, what Don King wants Don King gets. Much like Andrew Golota’s sudden appearance in the IBF ranks prior to his bout against Chris Byrd (and the “Foul Pole” wasn’t even in the top hundred at the time) Holyfield will suddenly emerge as a ranked contender in the WBO and his gift wrapped title shot, care of The Greatest Promoter In The World, will garner him yet another undeserved pay day. It’s just another in an endless number of reasons to loathe the absolute phoniness of the sanctioning bodies. King may be duplicitous but it’s the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and whatever other three letters you want to string together who are really at fault. If any of them had any backbone and any sense of self-worth and self-preservation (are you listening Jose Suliman!?!) boxing might be in better shape than it is right now. The only thing these guys care about is money, and the man whose hair looks like he stuck his finger in a light socket is full of it.
Don King’s nefarious character and dubious business practices aside, what is truly disheartening is Holyfield’s willingness to go along with all of this. His “Warrior” reputation and “Real Deal” nickname fit him perfectly throughout his storied career because he never took the easy way out. He fought all comers, the majority of them bigger and stronger than him, and he held his own. He proved himself to be worthy of his moniker. In the last five years, however, he’s proven nothing other than the undeniable fact that he is completely shot and completely undeserving of a title shot. But Don King says otherwise and deems this guy worthy. Shame on him and shame on Holyfield for besmirching his nickname and his reputation. There’s nothing “Real Deal” about this. It’s unfair to other fighters.
Holyfield and King may believe that Evander’s name and past ring accomplishments deserve a pat on the back and a free ride, but I don’t. It isn’t right and no matter what spin they put on it I don’t, and won’t buy it. I’ll spend my money on two fighters who deserve it.
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