Evander Holyfield, a warrior lost

18.08.06 - By Mike Casile (PBR) - As fans, we tend to develop amnesia when it comes to aging champions. When Ali was getting pummeled by Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick in the early 80’s, it somehow, temporarily diminished his professional and personal accomplishments. It wasn’t until ALI’s personal courage was brought to light, due to his illness with Parkinson’s disease that we began to look back at the legend he truly was. It was difficult for anyone who admired him, to watch “The Greatest” get handled by lesser fighters..

When I listen to the 44 year old, 4 time world champion, Evander Holyfield discuss his future, his denial is so unbelievably evident, and, quite frankly, it is very hard listen to. There have been many instances of this denial in the ring, but none was more apparent to me, than after he was destroyed by the blown up middleweight, James Toney. Immediately following the “so called” fight, he began to talk about how he would be back. There was an uncomfortable silence in the ring, after he made that statement. I was astonished that no one around him, who cares for this man, would tell him it’s over.

I believe Evander Holyfield was one of the greatest fighters of my generation. When he entered his first battle with Riddick Bowe in 1993, most experts believed that he had been through too many wars by then, to be affective against the bigger stronger Bowe. He proved in a loss, that a warrior’s heart was the best weapon a fighter could possess. He went on to fight 19 more fights, suffering 7 losses and one draw, after that classic battle, which in my opinion left both Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield changed forever.

In 1996 Shortly after Mike Tyson captured both the WBA and WBC heavyweight belts, and looked seemingly unstoppable, Holyfield again stepped up and totally dismantled Tyson, taking the WBA belt with him. I was sure after that victory, Evander would walk off into the sunset but we all know that was not the case.

He will once again, step into ring, with Jeremy Bates (21 -11 – 18 KO’s)this Friday night at the American Airline Center in Dallas, TX which will be televised on Fox Sports Net: The Best Damn Sports Show Period, which should be renamed, “The Worst damn explotation show, period.” I do not want to watch Jeremy Bates hurt Holyfield, I only hope this fight will send Evander to a golf course, or island resort permanently. Everybody involved with this fight should be ashamed of themselves. This is a disgrace to the sport, and to the once great Evander Holyfield.

He has not won a bout in over 4 years, and his last three fights were humiliating, and, in my opinion, borderline criminal. Today, he is not so much the “REAL DEAL”, rather more like an old warrior, wandering an empty battlefield, looking for a war, with no ammunition. Buddy McGirt once told me, “fighting is a hard drug to quit”, If that is the case, then some kind of intervention is long overdue.

Mike Casile

Article posted on 18.08.2006

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