The great Muhammad Ali’s quote of how the third war he had with the also great Joe Frazier was “close to death,” is well known, and it is of course undeniably true that the two legends gave their all in the unforgettable 1975 super-fight. But yet another great, in Evander Holyfield, at the beginning of his storied career, also experienced something akin to the sheer hell Ali (and Frazier) went through – in the summer of 1986, when he was a cruiserweight contender challenging for his first world title.
It’s one of the most famous and revered set of numbers in the sport of boxing: heavyweight immortal Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record. Ever since “The Rock” said goodbye to the ring with his perfect ledger, have heavyweights tried to break the record the hugely popular fighter (hugely popular in both life and in death) left behind. Larry Holmes came closest, in 1985, when he defeated Carl Williams to extends his record to 48-0. A controversial and very bitter (for Holmes) loss to Michael Spinks in a heavily hyped fight that same year ruined Larry’s aims to tie with Marciano’s magical numbers.
Living legend and former four-time heavyweight king Evander Holyfield is currently in the UK, and tonight on “The Bunce Boxing Hour,” the finest cruiserweight in the division’s history was asked, amongst other questions, just who hit his famously granite chin the hardest during his amazing, over twenty-five year pro career.
“The Real Deal” didn’t hesitate as he brought up one man’s name with something that looked like a shiver, “George Foreman,” he answered. “Big George.”
SHOWTIME Sports® is commemorating 30 years of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING with a year-long celebration that will highlight the biggest, most memorable and exciting SHOWTIME fights spanning four decades.
Other former world heavyweight champions confirmed to attend the event include Lennox Lewis, Roy Jones Jr., Larry Holmes, Michael Moorer, Riddick Bowe, Ray Mercer, Hasim Rahman, Tony Tucker, Tony Tubbs, James “Bonecrusher” Smith, Michael Bentt, Lamon Brewster, Chris Byrd, John Ruiz, Mike Weaver, Tim Witherspoon, Pinklon Thomas, Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks and Bruce Seldon.
Whether its stamina, strength, or experience, the boxing match-ups provide boxing fans with general debatable attributes and abilities for a discussion, and possibly argument in favor of their favorite fighter.
The same goes for the much anticipated Mayweather Jr. vs. Pacquiao scenario.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. fans are confident that their fighter will come out victorious due to his exceptional ring I.Q., ability to adapt during a bout, and of course his speed and style. Floyd fans argue that being a sharpshooter, Mayweather Jr. does well against opponents that throw high volume of shots, which Pacquiao’s style is all about.
In what is surely the culmination of one of the unlikeliest reconciliations in boxing history, former Heayvweight Champion Mike Tyson will deliver the presenting speech for former Heavyweight Champ Evander Holyfield’s induction into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. Tyson will present Holyfield, and then following Holyfield’s speech, will personally hand the NVBHOF Trophy to Holyfield in a “photo-op” for the ages. The memorable moment will take place Saturday night, August 9, in the beautiful Cohiba Ballroom of The New Tropicana, Las Vegas.
Today in 1986, at The Omni in Atlanta, Georgia, two cruiserweights put on a truly unforgettable 15-round war of a fight that still ranks, all these years later, as THE finest to have been waged in the weight class directly below heavyweight. And though, at the time, the still relatively new cruiserweight division was both dismissed and mocked by many a fan and expert, the battle defending WBA ruler and challenger Evander Holyfield put on went a long way towards getting the division accepted by all.
Holyfield, a 1984 Olympian who was having his 12th pro bout, was seen by many as too inexperienced for the tough, dangerous and crafty born-again Muslim who used to be known as Dwight Braxton. Holyfield, the critics, said, ran out of gas after just a few rounds of warfare, and if that happened against the saw-off slugger (who was also blessed with good defence and a rock of a chin) known as “The Camden Buzzsaw” he would be in a whole heap of trouble.