Evander Holyfield Won’t Stop Fighting Until He Becomes Heavyweight Champion Again
After a brief retirement from 2004-2006 — a period during which the New York State Athletic Commission would not allow Holyfield to fight because of diminishing skills — Holyfield returned to the ring to fight Jeremy Bates. He won that fight and his next three, earning a title shot against Sultan Ibragimov that he lost.
It was around that time that I, and many others, wondered why the old man was still fighting. We learned that he was in massive debt, and it all made sense. But is it all that simple? Is Holyfield only fighting so he can continue making money? Is he boxing because that’s his only profession and he needs to earn a living?
When Larry Brown Sports caught up with The Real Deal recently, he said that was not the case.
Asked how much longer he plans to box, Holyfield declared “I’m not going to stop until I become heavyweight champion of the world again. However long it takes, I’m going to do it.”
Holyfield has an upcoming bout with Brian Nielsen where his WBF title belt will be on the line, but he wants to win one of the major belts — the WBA, WBC, WBO or IBF heavyweight championship belt. Wladimir Klitschko holds two of the belts, brother Vitali Klitschko has another, and David Haye has the fourth.
When asked which of the Klitschko brothers he wanted more, Holyfield explained it wasn’t about the fighters, but rather about their belts. “I only want to fight them because they’re champions, that’s it.” Holyfield continued, “I don’t have anything against them personally. It’s just that my goal is to become champion — I’ll fight David Haye too. If they weren’t champions, if they lose the titles, then I don’t want to fight them. Just anyone who has a belt.”
If Evander really is fighting for money and not to become champion again, he has me fooled.
He was with it and mentally sharp when we talked, and he appeared to be in much better overall shape than he had been the past few years. As for a title shot against David Haye or either of the Klitschkos, I would be worried about his well-being if that were to happen, but Evander is still dreaming.