So What Now For Evander Holyfield?

by James Slater - It has been reported in a number of places how the Evander Holyfield-Frans Botha fight is now off. At first the WBF heavyweight title fight that, in truth, no-one really wanted to see, was set for January 16th of this year, then the bout set for The Nelson Mandela Stadium in Uganda was pushed back to late February. Now, the fight is off for good - Botha, according to BoxRec, will now fight Joey Abell at the same venue, on Feb. 27th.

But what does this mean for the legendary "Real Deal," the man who won the heavyweight championship an unprecedented four times? Is it even possible the 47-year-old has come to his senses and is looking to retire? We'd all like to think Holyfield, who has nothing at all left to prove, has decided to call it a day and that this is the reason the fight with Botha is not now happening; but deep down we all know it's unlikely..

Reportedly, Evander balked at the rescheduled Botha fight due to a money issue, not because he was slowly realising how his health and reputation are far more important to him than bottom-of-the-barrel type fights like the one that will not now happen. But what are Holyfield's options if he IS looking for another fight, one with a better deal?

Sure, the former cruiserweight king has spoken of wanting to become the undisputed heavyweight champion one more time before finally retiring, but no way will Holyfield be able to walk from the snuffed out Botha clash straight into a fight with either of the Klitschko brothers or David Haye. So what will the 42-10-2(27) relic do now instead?

Maybe, through no decision of his own, Holyfield will slowly fade away from the sport. Perhaps, due to his inability to get any fights to his liking, Evander will be forced to fight no longer, and without any official announcement he will have walked away for good. This is the best scenario that could happen, really - with Holyfield suffering no hurt, either physically or reputation-wise, from fighting junk fights or, worse, from being mangled by a top contender.

Holyfield's money problems have been well documented, but his need of cash in no way makes it okay for him to risk being hurt in the ring; nothing makes permanent disability a risk worth taking. Surely Evander could find another way to make money?

With no fight is sight for him at present, it could well be that the better-than-expected showing he gave the last time he fought - against then WBA ruler Nikolai Valuev - was the final ring appearance of the only man to have reigned as a world champion in three consecutive decades.

Sit at home and wait for the inevitable call to be inducted in The Hall of Fame, Evander!

Article posted on 27.01.2010

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