By Vitali Shaposhnikov: What started as minor financial difficulties such as child support, turned into a devastating economic down-spiral for Evander Holyfield. Just about a month ago, Holyfield was forced to sell his mansion just outside of Atlanta for $7.5 million, but that sale was of minimal benefit, as the champ owed the bank double that amount, and more than $200,000 in back taxes (http://www.tmz.com/2012/06/08/evander-holyfield-georgia-mansion-sold-auction/).
Now it seems that things have taken yet another turn for the worst, forcing Holyfield to sell some of his life possessions to come up with more money that he will likely use to clean up his debt. (http://www.juliensauctions.com/auctions/2012/evander-holyfield/index.html)
“Highlights from the auction include Holyfield’s 1984 Olympic Bronze Medal and 1983 Pan-Am Games Silver medal. Featured items also include over 20 pairs of fight worn gloves including the gloves worn in the June 1997 Holyfield vs. Tyson II fight — a.k.a. “The Bite Fight.” An amazing array of WBC, WBA and IBF Championship belts will be offered in the sale including Holyfield’s first ever professional title belt for his 1986 WBA Cruiserweight title. Equally as impressive are the more than 25 framed fight-worn robes and trunks including those worn by Holyfield for his 1996 upset of a then-heavily favored Mike Tyson resulting in his retention of the WBA Heavyweight title with the fight being named “Upset of the Year” and “The Fight of The Year” for 1996 by The Ring magazine. Some of the key artifacts of the Holyfield Collection are his numerous championship rings including Holyfield’s individual rings commemorating his unification as Undisputed Heavyweight Champion, Two-Time Heavyweight Champion, Three-Time Heavyweight Champion and Four-Time Heavyweight Champion. Matching the impressiveness of Holyfield’s championship rings are his championship trophies including his 1992 WBA Boxer of the Year award.”
This preview list screams desperation, and I am saddened to see Evander in such a position. He has give boxing fans fight of history changing magnitude, and has always been one of the top names in the sport of boxing. Items that he had worked tirelessly to earn are his most important possessions, and now, after holing on to them for countless years, he will have to watch them scramble and be taken away from him, going to various parts of the world, bought by an assortment of people that may or may not treasure them for years to come.
I hope that Evander finds a way to restore his image, and be a spokesman for boxing in the future. The most worrisome part of it all is that this monetary shift will probably cause him to keep fighting and risking his health, taking on opposition not worthy of the opportunity. There are younger and stronger fighters out there as well, and all it takes is one punch to send a fighter into a world of medical bills and constant worry for their friends and family. Let’s hope Evander never gets to partake in such a fate.