Does Holyfield Need To Be Saved From Himself?

By Boxing News - 12/18/2008 - Comments

holy32By Chris Williams: Some fighters just don’t know when to quit and call it a day. Often, we the boxing public, don’t see it because it often effects obscure fighters that the public isn’t aware of. However, Holyfield, 46, is a textbook case of a fighter that has over-stayed his visit in the sport and really needs to get a clue and retire. Naturally, I have nothing against a fighter wanting to provide for themselves and better their situation, because after all, it’s their life.

But, the problem is that Holyfield isn’t effective anymore, at least as far as being a top level fighter, that is. He’s still a good fighter when you compare him to the average run of the mill C-class fighter, but he’s not going to be fighting an average fighter on Saturday night; He’s going to be taking on World Boxing Association heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev (49-1, 34 KOs), who will have a big size and youth advantage over the 46-year-old Holyfield.

It’s certainly a good thing that Holyfield will be bringing in a lot of experience into this fight on Saturday night. That’s not news to anyone. But when you get to the point where a combination of old age and ring punishment are starting to show their effects, it’s time to step away from the sport. It isn’t like Holyfield can still pull the trigger like he used to.

I’d like for him to have come to this realization long before the Valuev bout, so as to save himself from taking further punishment without much gain from it. Holyfield will probably remain standing no matter how many times he’s clubbed by the bear-like, seven-foot, 320 pound Valuev.

It won’t be pretty, though. Holyfield will likely take serious punishment in the fight, round after round, and will continue standing, trying to land an occasional shot with hopes that he may get lucky and score a knockout win. Let’s be clear about this: Holyfield won’t be knocking Valuev out on Saturday night.

Indeed, if there is going to be any knockout occurring in the fight, it will be Holyfield himself who will be the one that is stopped, likely still on his feet, absorbing continuous blows while he futilely attempts to cover up on the ropes.

And though Valuev has been mostly shielded his career from quality heavyweights like the Klitschko brothers, Alexander Dimitrenko and Chris Arreola, he’s still probably several shades better than the likes of Sultan Ibragimov and Larry Donald, the last two fighters that beat Holyfield. None of that matters to Holyfield, because he’d probably fight any heavyweight in the division as long as they had a major title in their possession, and he had even a slight chance at winning.

However, how many more chances can he be given before he finally understands that he just doesn’t have it anymore? Right now, the only reason he was given this fight wasn’t because he earned it by staying active and beating a quality fighter during the past year, but rather because of his still popular name.

Also, Valuev is considered to be a very beatable heavyweight by many experts, and his handlers have been very careful in matching him up against weaker opposition in the past couple of years, only putting him in with quality fighters when he they have no other choice because of him having to defend his title.