George Foreman - "I Hope Evander Holyfield Becomes Heavyweight Champ Again So He Can Walk Away."
by James Slater - In just over 24 hour's time, former four-time holder of the heavyweight title, Evander Holyfield, will go up against the massive current WBA belt holder, Nikolay Valuev. Now aged 46, Holyfield has often referred to the amazing achievements of another legend in George Foreman, who was able to win back the title at the age of 45. "The Real Deal" has drawn inspiration from what "Big" George did, and aims to go one better and win back (at least a portion of) the title at 46..
Article posted on 19.12.2008
However, though Foreman, who, of course, once fought Holyfield, wishes the underdog well in his quest, he also says he hopes Evander will call it a day and retire after tomorrow night. George is the same as a good many other people out there, in that he feels Holyfield has gone on way too long in the sport and that overall he's been a bad reflection on the heavyweight division.
Foreman, now aged 59 and long retired, has been speaking with the BBC.
"I hope he'll achieve it (beat Valuev to win back the WBA belt) and leave boxing alone," Foreman said. "He's been a terrible reflection on the heavyweight division. Win, lose, or draw, he should move away from boxing for the sake of leaving a good name for the sport.
"His head is starting to attract punches. I don't like it, I really don't like it. He was never a big, strong man. He's a frail guy and he's getting the worst of it every time he boxes."
Foreman makes some excellent points, and is especially right when it comes to Holyfield not being a big guy. We all know the amazing warrior relied on his massive heart and ability to take punishment to prevail. It seems the thought of him attempting to do this in recent times, and again tomorrow evening, has deeply concerned Foreman. George, though, can understand, to a degree, why many fighters stick around the sport too long - George even admits he did so himself.
"We just don't know how to move on. All of us. I stayed in too long myself," George said. "You fall in love with something you ought not to fall in love with. It's like falling in love with a bad girl who does not love you, who's done with you yet you keep hanging on."
And Evander Holyfield sure has hung on, quite stubbornly, to his misguided belief that he can become champion again, even though he has now lost nine times as a pro. Evander has even borrowed a line George himself came up with when he was boxing on at the age of 40 or more.
"My aim is to go and win this fight for all the 40-somethings out there and prove that it's not really fair to put people all in the same pot based purely on their age," said the 46-year-old.
Like Foreman before him, Holyfield is attempting to defy age itself tomorrow night. George wishes him good luck.
"I hope he becomes heavyweight champion of the world again so he can walk away," Foreman said.
We all would like to see a happy ending for the former cruiserweight and four-time heavyweight king, that's for sure.
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