Evan “Yung Holy” Holyfield’s (2-0, 2 KOs)fights tomorrow night on a card promoted by Christy Martin Promotions and takes place at Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach.
(Photo credit: Main Events)
The event will be live streamed via Facebook and YouTube on Payne Boxing Television channels.
Here is a conversation with Evan . . .
I’m feeling great. I have done all my hard work and preparation in Houston and quite frankly, the weather is great here in Daytona Beach compared to what it’s like there right now so it’s a pleasure to be here. The Hard Rock hotel is great also, there is a lot of memorabilia here and it gives you the rock’n roll vibe. I woke up this morning, went out on the deck and listened to the waves.
How was it turning pro?
It was a blessing and a great experience to fight on that (Canelo-Kovalev) card, fighting alongside some of my favorite fighters and I took in every little bit that I could.
I spend most of my time in Texas since I have turned pro to train since I have been having fights back-to-back.
How is your dad feeling about all of this?
My father loves me just as any father would love his son and he always wants me to do better. He tells me that each generation should be better than the previous so he is always pushing me to work hard to be better.
Do you get nervous having your dad at ringside?
When I get in the ring I don’t think about him being there because down the road there are going to be many others watching and if I got nervous fighting in front of my dad I would really be nervous fighting in front of others. I work hard whether he is there or not, and even if there was nobody there watching I will work my hardest and do my best.
Do you try to go for the knockout?
I come in there to do my job and I don’t get paid overtime, but at the same boxing is the name of the game and that’s what I do and it doesn’t matter how it turns out as long as I get the W.
Do you feel like you’re following in your dad’s footsteps?
I wouldn’t say I am following in his footsteps; boxing is just something that fell on me. I had my first fight at 8, and won, then my mom took me and put me in every sport she possibly could until I was 14. Then one day I cam downstairs and sat them both down and said “I am ready to focus on just one sport.”
At the time, growing up with my brother Elijah, he began to only focused on football and it was taking him places, so you can’t have your hand it too many things. I didn’t like team sports because everyone was always pointing at each other and boxing is one of those sports that what you put in is what you get out. So I fell in love with that and I fell in love with the whole story of boxing – there are two guys and each has a story and it is more personable. Eventually after 80 amateur fights, my dad gave me his blessing to turn pro.
Are you excited about your brother?
My bother is now with the (Philadelphia) Eagles. At first he was with the (Carolina) Panthers but I know Philadelphia has way more stuff going on than Carolina so it’s good for him. And I’ll be there, having some Philly cheesesteaks.
I have ten bothers and sisters and I feel that a lot of them could have continued in sports if they really wanted to but everyone seems to be happy with their life and happy with where their paths have taken them.
Elijah and I, being so close (within a year), we are always trying to one-up each other. So here we are.
OK, you against your dad at 22 – who wins?
I think he doesn’t win it. But he thinks he would win it. But that’s what any boxer would say.
I study my dad’s style but boxing is a melting pot of things. You can’t be like one person. I started studying him watching his Olympic tapes – that is my favorite style, watching him box. Styles change in every fight but my favorite was the way he fought in Qawi 2 – it was beautiful. I take styles from Pacquiao, Sugar Ray Robinson and Rigondeaux.
With speed comes power, well sometimes, but in my case it does
Does your dad’s legacy motivate you or make you nervous?
I get nervous for every fight and it makes me think, why am I nervous? I am not nervous because I am scared, I am nervous because I want to do great from my own expectations. There is a difference between nervous and being scared. You get scared before you get a whooping from your parents but just nervous for a fight. The fight is where you put everything you did in the gym into fruition.
I talk to my dad a lot but it’s never like I’ve got to fill his shoes because you have to understand he paved the road, but once you get to that end of the road you’ve got to pave your own road. That’s why I am so excited to fight because every time I fight, the people watching say ‘of yea, he is different from his dad. He can box a little bit more, he is a little faster, he may have a little bit more creativity.’ There is a vast difference between our styles. That’s why I am so eager to box, to show people the difference. And he was a little more buff, but we are going to get there one day. On the other hand that was a different time and there is no need to compare side-by-side, but legacy makes its own name.
As far as legacy and everything, when I get in that ring I want to be the one that is not getting hit.
Did you ever try MMA?
I did Tae Kwon Do and I was nationally ranked for two years. See in boxing, you only get hit with padded things, so why would I go into a sport where I get hit with everything but the pads?
What about Saturday’s fight?
On Saturday night I am fighting Travis Nero and I think he has six fights and . . . he is an opponent.
You have to worry about being overconfident because anything can happen in the ring and that’s what makes the sport. One punch can change the whole game plan. You never know what can happen once you get punched. There is a difference between being cocky and being confident. It is really trusting and being faithful. Certain are already written out and stuff happens
You have had 3 fights in 90-some days?
Yes, it is my job, and what else am I going to do? If I don’t go to the gym or practice, the day just doesn’t feel right.
2-0 is a good start but we are working on everything. Every fight is a different fight, so I like that.
The thing about amateurs is, as a pro you get to study an opponent for a whole month and get their style. In the amateurs you are fighting someone different every single day for three rounds and of course you are going to get hit. People think because of the head gear that the punches will be a little softer but the head gear only helps with the head buts.
What is it like to work with Christy Martin?
Christy Martin – she is a dog – you know what I mean? I’m not trying to be disrespectful or anything but by saying she is a dog is meaning she is going to get the job done inside the ring. If it was her mom stepping in that ring she would probably try to get her out of there. She is a tue warrior and it is great to get to work besides somebody like that. She knows the game, and she knows what it’s like to get hit too.