Evander Holyfield: The Last Call?
By Mike "Mykers" Boehm (April 2, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
There is a select few professional heavyweight fighters who are able to carry their glory, and surpass expectations in pugilism after the age of forty. Since the list of heavyweight fighters over forty is quite long and arduous, a single heavyweight fighter comes to mind. More specifically, Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield continues to fight regularly as the public remains numb and semi-responsive. The reason for this feeling is not his skills, or ring ethic; it’s purely his age. Evander Holyfield continues to fight at forty-seven years young. This amazing honor has driven, and promoted Evander’s outlook on boxing, and continues to fuel, and ignite his preparation for his upcoming bout against Francios Botha on April 10, 2010.

The super sweet career of Evander Holyfield has taken us on an almighty ride through the light heavyweight, cruiserweight, and heavyweight divisions. This road started early at the age of twelve for Evander. However, as he progressed, he became known to the world as the undisputed Cruiserweight champion, and the most favorable, the undisputed heavyweight champion. From his greatest defeat of James “Buster” Douglas, to the trilogy with Riddick Bowe, to “The Bite Fight” with Mike Tyson; Evander Holyfield was one of only three men to become a world heavyweight champion three times.

“The Real Deal” has proved that he was, and has been a valuable opponent. His most recent bout against Nikolay Valuev ended in a bit of controversy. The majority decision loss was left unsettled in Holyfield’s belly. And for good reason; the judges’ scorecards were way off. Many analysts appeared outraged at the decision, thinking Holyfield had clearly won. However, what most people don’t know is the WBA did their own investigation into the controversial decision. The World Boxing Association reviewed the fight countless time’s, and most began to wonder if they were watching the right tape at all. Unfortunately, the WBA concluded in favor of Valuev.

Enter Francios Botha; a challenge that Evander Holyfield could not refuse. The 41 year old South African native is indeed another fighter who continues to stay active in the ring, and confuse/inspire many in the community. Botha is a journeyman who remained inclined to fight generally weak opposition. However, 2010 proves to become the potential comeback year for Francios Botha. Botha is coming off a Draw with Pedro Carrion; an unimpressive heavyweight fighter. Currently, Botha is accepting a big challenge in Evander Holyfield.

Apparently the umbrella is closing over the speculation of this match-up fast. That is, most feel it’s pointless, stupid, outrageous, or whatever other adjective you can use. Two fighters…both over the age of 40; how good can this matchup be? Well, if you have had the liberty of viewing Holyfield’s performance against Valuev, you would clearly see Evander’s dedication, and heart for the sport. The 47 year old Holyfield is a spirited one. One who thrives and gain’s success as a former heavyweight champion.

You got to tip your hat to Botha and Holyfield for remaining some-what proactive in the sport. I understand age deteriorates everything but Evander is still in shape and trains regularly. When you compare Holyfield to top heavyweights, it’s tough not to judge him. However, it’s the drive, and the love of the sport that all should remain proud of. It also appears that Evander has no intention of hanging up the gloves anytime soon. His upcoming bout will prove to become a tough matchup. Both the fighters possess former championship qualities, with Holyfield leading by a wide margin.

I expect the fight will become another tactical, boring fight, with Botha scoring when the chance permits, and Holyfield working outside. No doubt Holyfield will win this match with his experience and proactive behavior. I’m not ruling it out, but it would seem strange for each fighter to expect a knockout! Then again you never know. Holyfield and Botha still possess decent power for men their age. More importantly, what does Evander Holyfield expect to gain from his upcoming match, a title shot?

Obviously, defeating a journeyman/contender like Francois Botha would not immediately give Holyfield a title shot. However, Evander Holyfield is ranked. In regard to the World Boxing Council (WBC) he is ranked thirteenth. The other sanctioning body that has Holyfield ranked is the International Boxing Organization (IBO); which he is ranked twenty-ninth. It appears that Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield may be slowly climbing the ladder to a title fight…yet again.

Facts are facts; some feel Evander Holyfield still apparently has statistical means to continue. He remains in shape, trains regularly, and still accepts fight as they come. Essentially though, before we speculate any further, Evander has to defeat Botha. As I have stated before Holyfield should win this fight hands down. It’s apparent to many, that Evander has nothing to prove to anyone. Other than, he can still whoop some ass even though he is 47 years young. My opinion specifically is this: Evander Holyfield should not continue to fight; he’s proved himself in the ring as a legend, and maybe or maybe not still has the slight ability to obtain a title fight. Ultimately though, If Evander loses against Francois Botha, or any other journeyman, hang up the gloves for good.

Following Evander Holyfield, serious questions have transpired on the current situation in the heavyweight division. Basically, many feel the current heavyweight crisis is due to lack of stiff competition. As a result, more green horn fighters are cruising through the ranks on the road to heavyweight supremacy; only to get outworked, knocked out, or humiliated in the ring by the Klitschko’s. Professional boxers past their prime continue to fight and seek some sort it ill-conceived redemption There are still many great fighters in the heavyweight division looking to prosper on their shot against one of the Klitschko brothers. With the Klitschko brothers holding all but one major sanctioning belt, some may feel that Evander Holyfield’s comeback reign as a potential champion is well over due. If you ask me, it’s just another boring heavyweight fight between a legend and a top contender that’s it and that’s all. However, some good may come out of the Botha/Holyfield fight, that is, one if not both may potentially hang up the gloves for good.

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