Holyfield-Valuev: The Bad, The Worse, and the Ugly!

Evander HolyfieldBy Ruth Lister - This was boxing at its most masochist - a 46 year old giving up 7 stone in weight, over a foot in height and being banned from the New York State Athletic Commission many moons ago, (and not to mention having not fought since losing 14 months ago), in arguably the worst heavyweight title fight in history with a result that was just plain ugly. Ironically, the fight between Evander Holyfield & Interim WBA champion Nikolai Valuev was staged in Switzerland - the only country in the world in which euthanasia is legal - and by the fifth round I wanted to be put out of my misery! At the end of 12 pitiful rounds so should Valuev, the judges and anyone else unfortunate to witness this disgrace.

An analysis of the fight can be summed up quite easily - it was a stinker, a real stinker. 12 rounds of Holyfield dancing around throwing the odd combination, and Valuev fighting like Baloo the bear after a heavy session on a bong with his right foot nailed to the centre of the ring, occasionally offered a pawing jab with all the venom of a care bear on valium. As for the result, if the feds investigated the Holyfield-Lewis fight they should have an easy time bringing people to justice over this debacle, not from Holyfield putting on a performance of the ages, but by the pure fact that Valuev simply looked that bad.. As previously stated, Holyfield should never have been in the ring in the first place, but after watching this I have to question Valuev’s handlers for letting him fight considering his poor conditioning. His output & stamina were that poor, I can only assume Valuev’s sparring sessions were against a heavy bag.

As the final round rang I felt quite sad for Holyfield seeing such a great champion reduced to this, not this not because he took a beating, but for allowing such inferior opposition last the distance with him even at this stage of his career. However, I will save my pity for the great champions of past and the great battles they endured. Imagine Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson, Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano’s reaction if they were to be told this would be the legacy of the title they once fought so hard for, let alone the champions still alive to witness this.

Holyfield a shoe-in Hall of Famer whose bravery is beyond question, along with his financial problems and his acceptance of simple logic can be excused, but Valuev should be truly ashamed of this performance and the legacy he may have tarnished maybe beyond repair. However the finger shouldn’t be pointed at just Valuev & his handlers, Holyfield was somehow given a ranking by the WBA to fight for the title. Various commissions should now evaluate if they will recognise such organizations that allow these fights to happen under there jurisdiction!!!

Coming after the pitiful performance of Samuel Peter against Vitali Klitschko a few weeks back, boxing needs to bury this saga quickly if it’s to survive. Love him or hate him (I know a lot of people on the site aren’t entirely convinced of him), boxing needs a fresh, charismatic knockout artist like David Haye more than its ever needed one, and a competitive fight between him and one of the Klitschko Brothers must now happen not just for the parties involved, but for boxing as a sport!!!

Comments welcome.

Article posted on 21.12.2008

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