Tag Archives: Evander Holyfield

WBC Emeritus Vitali Klitschko Returns For Historic Scrum of 20 Heavyweight Champs

WBC Emeritus Champion Vitali Klitschko is supposed to be on his way to a historic scrum of near two dozen former heavyweight champions Saturday, September 5th. Former Vitali victim, the permanently topless Shannon Briggs, 58-6-1, 51 KO, goes against Michael Marrone, 21-4, 15 KO, in the main event of this heavyweight brouhaha at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

The Mayor of Kiev has had his hands full since elections with the ongoing Russian military conflicts over Ukrainian sovereignty. He was seen last week in Kiev watching Ukrainian compatriot and fellow boxer Oleksandr Usyk demolish South African Johnny Muller, so I assume K2 Promotions he runs with his brother Wlad are doing well these days.

Projected  former world heavyweight champions slated to attend include reigning champ Wladimir Klitschko, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Michael Spinks, Tony Tucker, Roy Jones Jr., Michael Moorer, Ray Mercer, Hasim Rahman, Tony Tubbs, James “Bonecrusher” Smith, Chris Byrd, John Ruiz, Mike Weaver, Evander Holyfield, Tim Witherspoon, Larry Holmes, Riddick Bowe, Pinklon Thomas, Michael Bentt, Lamon Brewster, Leon Spinks and Bruce Seldon.

Neon Leon Spinks will be the most senior of the champs dating back to his shock of Muhammad Ali in 1978  who is likely unable to attend due to his poor health. Other projected absences would be Herbie Hide(jail sentence,) James Toney(stripped by IBF after positive steroid test,) and David Haye(recovering pinky toe.)

In particular the new owner of “regular” WBC heavy strap, Deontay Wilder may also be missing in action even though he’s only a hop and skip away in Alabama(Sugardaddy Al Haymon, his overseer, passed on a $2 million dollar Shannon Briggs offer to challenge Wilder for considerably less against a Frenchman in Alabama. I don’t make this stuff up folks, only in boxing)

Can’t say I know many of the details, but presumably there will be a meet and greet type banquet with requisite speeches prior to the boxing matches. Probably some autograph and picture sessions, the usual splashy stuff that would befit this historic occasion. It’s telling how many “champs” have been packed in this 37 year span, yet less than a handful could be said to have been dominant, and only Wlad can be said to have cleaned out the division, a couple of three times now as he is tying and breaking Joe Louis heavyweight records.

Hot Blast From The Past~Lennox Lewis vs Evander Holyfield I

I confess that I didn’t care for the first Lennox Lewis vs Evander Holyfield fight in the day and thus never had any reason to revisit it other than in sometimes spirited verbal debate arising over such controversial decisions. Finally, 15 years later I pulled it up today for a stylistic comparison of the last “great” American heavyweight as he wound down his career.

In boxing what goes around comes around as the more things change the more they remain the same and every other lame duck adage you can conjure up. Boxing “officials” back then stifled the righteous unification of the titles that Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield each held.

I only wanted see the fight, not to listen to blowhard announcers or review drunken punch monkey stats all strategically placed in to disrupt the basic sounds and sights of the fight. The average viewer soon becomes duped into thinking he is in the magnificent present of all knowing boxing experts emceeing the typical broadcast entertainment extravaganza. Me thinks that this particular fight  set the modern productions of the many international title events “promoted” by the entertainment industry moguls that have followed.

Lewis, Mercante, Holyfield

Lewis, Mercante, Holyfield

Holyfield is the last “great” American heavy at the end of his productive years propped up in Madison Square Garden as his “international” rival Lewis agrees to fly across the Atlantic for the big unification bout everyone and their granny wants to see. The judges are from South Africa, UK, and US with New York based Arthur Mercante Jr. the referee. Big George, Larry and Lamps are the Moe, Larry, and Curly announcing trio with the last great heavyweight trainer Emanuel Steward in the Lewis corner. Roy Jones Jr is set up at another studio and still on top of the boxing world as his braggadocio shoots off the charts. Everyone looks impossibly  young and healthy, yet shockingly Steward is no longer with us. Life is fickle and certainly not as permanent as it sometimes seems during our day to day struggles that seem unceasing before we tune in for ol’ reliable to get the juices roiling, the birthright of Americans, a big match heavyweight duke’em up.

Mercante impossibly slips a missed Real Deal left hook early on that most certainly would have sent him into the 3rd row had it connected as he demonstrated great reflexes and physicality in this grappling, big man affair. The fight turned out to be much better than I remembered though it petered out the last two rounds that doubtless increased the latitude of the scoring as well as dampened my memory of the fight. It was more informative this time around because of the context of the passage of time, so I ended up watching the whole broadcast instead of just the fight.

The broadcast ended up extremely raw and forthright as the hosts and participants struggled to make sense of the incomprehensible.

Lamps is all over the “stench” of the scoring as soon as the scorecards are announced. The setup was the typical Don King promoted modis operandi in the day and still the same format used in many big international fights today. British judge brought in to stay mum with the draw scoring while the American female judge has it for Holyfield and the South African judge for Lewis, the perfect foil for the perfect draw denouement pre-orchestrated by all time scoundrel Don King.

Noteworthy are the vast boos from the majority 21,000 American crowd who certainly have no history of ever taking a shine to Lewis. The reported 7500 Brits flying over to attend the fight can be heard all through taking up the Lewis chant. Had no idea Lewis was “that” popular with Brits in the day though I knew he had a good following.

Emmanuel Steward point blank: “This is is killing boxing.”

Fast forward>>> Shawn Porter vs Kell Brook>>> and we had California based referee Pat Russel as the 3rd man in the ring, the British judge mum again with a draw as the two American judges showed their “impartiality” by going all for the British Brook who is now suddenly mooted for all these artificial “superfights” boxing is desperate to make. The poorly attended crowd of 3000 didn’t have much to cheer about in this poor card that also featured touted American flagship heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder fighting a prelim in front of maybe a few hundred spectators who cheered on his TBA opponent. Sad to see boxing come down to such a low level that the long maligned Lewis/Holyfield fight actually looks good in comparison even if the past it Holyfield fought a poor fight.

Lewis/Holyfield I:

Evander Holyfield–When Enough Ain’t Enough

Good golly Miss Folly, when will enough be ENOUGH ALREADY for Evander Holyfield?

"The Greenbriar"

“The Greenbriar”

So as not to be a spoilsport, I’m OK that he is fighting  Sherman Williams at The Greenbrier, a historic high end hotel resort privy to the moneyed bluebloods and the ruling establishment of Washington DC.

Hey, it’s the kind of classy soft landing clubfight venue that fans and former fans of 48 yr old Mr. Holyfield have long pined for after a career spent going against most of the best heavyweights of the 1990s, one of the best heavyweight eras of boxing.

Mr. Field notched his first top ten heavy scalp in 1989 against Michel Dokes in a thrilling fight of the year kinda slugfest that wowed boxing fans everywhere. In between his last top ten scalp against Hasim Rahman in 2002, Mr. Holyfield managed to win 4 heavyweight titles, a new record, but the magic was clearly gone when he had to billygoat his way to victory over Rahman in a bizarre technical win that ended with Rahman sporting a lump the size of a softball over his eye.

That’s a long legendary 13 years against the best, and an even longer 9 years afterwards that sees Mr. Holyfield struggling to show any form against top ten fighters. He has even struggled against retired, inactive heavies on the comeback trail, aka Sherman Williams, 34-11-2, 19 KO as it may happen this Saturday at The Greenbrier.

This fight has been bounced around from venue to venue as promoters struggle to put together a viable package they can market as has happened to many of Mr. Holyfield’s scheduled opponents whose fights ultimately were canceled for lack of promotional and public interest. His next fight is supposed to be on March 5th against Brian Nielsen in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The soon to be 46 yr old former IBO/IBC champ Brian Nielson is another retired heavy announcing a comeback after a sweet 9 year vacation. And why shouldn’t he hop on the newly formed Real Deal Senior Circuit?

Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis and Larry Holmes are reported to have received special viewing invitations at this historic West Virginia landmark, so could be a chance for one or all to scout out the promotion and contemplate their own comebacks against Mr. Holyfield.

And I’m OK with that, this new senior circuit league.

What I’m not OK with is Mr. Holyfield’s incessant quest to not only regain a 5th heavyweight title, but to unify the division, something he could never do in his prime, though he did win and go to defend a unified title 3x before losing it to Riddick Bowe.

Don King leveraged the legend of Mr. Holyfield to maneuver him to two consecutive title challenges in 2007-2008 to WBO champ Sultan Ibragimov and WBA champ NikolayValuev. He could scarcely mount an offensive threat against the champs who were clearly wearing the cuffs, not wishing to be the one blamed for scrambling the remainder of his brains for the rest of his life, or WORSE!

In his prime as a champion, Mr. Holyfield’s KO ratio was abysmal and has only gotten worse as his reflexes abandoned him while aging through the decades. It just ain’t a fairfight anymore unless he gets “assistance” from officials as he now requires.

The Greenbrier “Redemption in America” card has been heavily promoted in Fightnews, seemingly some dozen or more articles every week for several weeks now. He did an interview with boxing fanhouse as part of the leadup to the fight claiming the Klitschkos are ducking him:

http://boxing.fanhouse.com/2011/01/19/evander-holyfield-and-the-klitschkos-can-make-20-million-apiec/

I don’t know what is more laughable, or is it cryable, when Mr. Holyfield followed the ducking charge on the topic of money, how much he made and how much he could make for everyone, splitting $40 million against one of the brothers in ‘Vander World.

Newsflash for Mr. Holyfield:

Top contenders don’t want to fight you because they don’t want to hit you, and as much as you want to hit them, you can’t any more than you could hit the side of a barn with a sawed off shotgun in your current state of decline.

It Happens

It Happens

Give it up and stay on the senior circuit.

I suspect even the rusting 258 lb Sherman “Tank” will give you more fire than team Atlanta has seen since General Sherman marched through the Atlanta cottonfields some 145 yrs ago. The parallel may be lost on you, but fairplay, we know the fight is the perfect prep for a Tyson rubber match, something more in your league, so good luck, but please, keep your delusions to yourself, you’re scarin’ folks.

George Foreman was knocking around a prime Shannon Briggs like a bowling pin at your age, but you ain’t Big Bad George. You were  lucky enough hang on for dear life in the closing rounds to survive him in your prime, a distant 20 yrs ago.

For the sake of boxing, your fans, and more importantly, your family, especially your children, please do find that perfect soft spot to land your retirement on with a semblance of dignity your career deserves.

Oh, did I mention Mr. Holyfield is defending his newly “won” World Boxing Federation heavyweight title he acquired from “knocking out” Kris Kringle in the form of one Frans Botha?

Yah, va con Dios, mi amigo.