Five minutes with Evander Holyfield
By Ian Aldous: An amazing 28 years after turning professional, Evander Holyfield (44-10-2) is still confident he can once again become a World heavyweight champion. Will he get the opportunity to dethrone Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko? Last week Evander took the time to talk with me about heavyweights, past and present.
Over the past couple of months we’ve heard various rumours about who you might be facing next. When will we next see you in the ring and who might you be fighting?
EH “I really don’t know. Things keep changing and there hasn’t been anybody concrete, so I’m just trying to stay focused and continue to train. Be ready for whoever it may be.”
Where do you currently rank yourself amongst the current crop of heavyweights?
EH “I don’t know. I really haven’t fought a top ten opponent in a while, so I don’t know.”
How disappointed will you be if you retire from the sport without fighting either of the Klitschko brothers, especially seeing how many fighters get a shot at them without sometimes deserving it?
EH “It wouldn’t be a disappointment, it wouldn’t be big. I’m only gonna do what I wanna do anyway, so if I don’t fight them, it’s ok and if I do fight them, it’s ok. It’s not a dying situation, it’s not a validation loss if I don’t. I’ve only been the heavyweight champion of the World four times, so you know, I don’t lose nothing.”
Last year David Haye unsuccessfully challenged Wladimir Klitschko for his multitude of heavyweight belts. Do you think we’ll see David Haye fight for a World heavyweight title again or should he stay retired?
EH “I heard somebody say that they were talking about it. I don’t know if that’s a rumour or not. I don’t see why he wouldn’t, he’s still young and he should maybe take another chance.”
You’ve fought many of the best heavyweights of your era, guys like Lennox Lewis, George Foreman, Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes and Riddick Bowe. Who in your opinion is the greatest heavyweight of all-time? Apart from yourself!
EH “If you had to go by what they done in the ring you would say other than me you would say Ali. Ain’t nobody else done it three times like he has but me who’s done it four!”
We’ve read the book about your career (Becoming Holyfield: A Fighter’s Journey). How about a movie about your life?
EH “It would be great, inspiring people to not give up on their dreams and (showing) it’s attainable, are they willing to pay that price that’s necessary to be the very best they can be? ”
Finally, can you possibly pick out the highlight of your wonderful career?
EH “I would say beating Mike Tyson was the biggest up to this point, not that all the other fights didn’t make a difference because they did – but it’s just the fact that it’s what the people believed, it’s almost that when I won that fight I achieved what I personally wanted to do, because me believing that he was the best in the era at the time I fought him…. and he was. I beat him and after that it was (about) just trying to retire as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the World.”
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