Evander Holyfield Interview: "It is up to me to retire!" By Benny Henderson Jr. (April 6, 2010) Doghouse Boxing
Throughout life Evander Holyfield has been told he couldn’t do this or that for many reasons, he was told he was to small to box, well, not only was he a 1984 Olympic Bronze Medal winner, he was an undisputed cruiserweight as well as heavyweight champion of the world, and stands alone as the four-time heavyweight champion. Now at the age of forty-seven, he has been told he is way to old to be fighting, and now again; he is proving the fight world wrong.
This Saturday, the living legend Evander Holyfield 42-10-2 (27) will return to the ring as he takes on the former world title challenger Frans Botha 47-4-3 (28) for the WBF Heavyweight Title, in Holyfield’s search of becoming a five-time world heavyweight champion.
Can Holyfield defeat Botha, move on, bid for another world title and win, to become not only a five-time world champ as well as the oldest? Many people say no, but Holyfield, who has proven the Nay Sayers wrong before strongly states, “I am ready!”
In this exclusive interview conducted by the boys of Big Dog Radio, they get the thoughts on Evander Holyfield, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: You have accomplished so much in your hall of fame career, so now at the age of forty-seven you are still fighting; the question we all want to know is, why?
Evander Holyfield: After losing to Riddick Bowe, my goal was to come back and be the undisputed heavyweight champion again, I fought Michael Moorer and did not get that fight, and since then I have pretty much been trying to get back the belts, it is how you end and that is how I want it to end, as the undisputed heavyweight of the world.
BH: How disheartening was it for you to not get the decision over Valuev, and become the oldest as well as the five time world champion?
EH: It is not the first time that something like that has happened, but I know as a person who really loves the game you learn to make adjustments. That happened and that is the reason why I am still here, and I am willing to make adjustments that are coming up with Frans Botha. My goal was never to be a four time heavyweight champion or beating Ali’s record, the only goal I had was knowing what my ending should be like, I should be the champion and everybody know who the best is. Unfortunately it has been dragging on this long, if things would have went right in 1999 when I fought Lennox Lewis, I didn’t get the decision and that could have been the end of the rainbow, but it didn’t happen that way.
BH: You will be taking on Frans Botha, what are your thoughts on Botha and what do you feel your keys to victory should be in this fight?
EH: He is a very aggressive guy, so he takes chances at winning. I realize that when people take chances at winning the fight ends up being very compelling. So he is going to take a chance at winning and my chances at beating him are great.
Tim Kudgis: There are still a lot of guys from around your time in the sport, guys like Michael Moorer and Riddick Bowe, you ever thought about having a rematch with those guys?
EH: Well, if it is not a championship bout, because I am not fighting just to fight, I am trying to win the belts.
Tim Kudgis: A lot of critics saying you are too old to fight, how is it going to feel to fight again in Vegas and kind of stick it to your critics?
EH: I was happy about the commission for giving me my license, they seen my fight against Valuev, and they think I should have won.
Bob Carroll: You have been involved in two if the three craziest fights I have ever seen, the second fight with Bowe and the whole fan man incident, and of course the fight against Tyson when he bit your ear off. Fan man was crazy enough, but when Tyson bit you, did you ever just think you are jinxed and wonder why does this stuff keep happening to me?
EH: No, things only happen to people who can handle it. Tyson did not bite me because he was vicious; he bit me because he wanted to get out of the fight.
Bob Carroll: We have seen a lot of Americans go over to Germany and lose, I thought you beat Valuev, so do you think there was some money changing hands for that loss there and you did not get a fair shake?
EH: I definitely did not get a fair shake. I spoke with a writer when I was there, and he asked me why would I fight over there, he said they are showing all of your fight clips when you were young and not older; they are trying to build this guy off of you. They say if he beats you they will say he is this great fighter, the guy said plus at your age. I asked him his age he said fifty-eight, I said do you feel you are to old to write, he said no, I said why do you do it, he said because I am good. I said look, you ever see a person do something that they couldn’t do well, and this thing is sold out because of me. After the fight, he told me I was right, it is not the age but how you handle it, do what you do well.
BH: What about the ones who say that you should not fight because you are a Christian?
EH: Well, people who say that doesn’t know what a Christian really is, they are saying you cannot defend yourself, and this is a sport, this is not where somebody has to die. You learn your skills, and if you don’t have faith you will not be successful in anything.
Bob Carroll: My answer would be, you only have to cheeks, you only have two so if they smack them both you have to do something.
EH: The whole big thing is, if you know a guy is going to smack your cheek, then why show up? (Evander Laughs) If you know you have to turn your cheek, then why be around a guy who is going to hit you. (We all laugh)
Benny Henderson Jr.: The good thing about getting hit by a Christian is after they beat you up they will pray for you.
EH: Well, (Laughs) prayers do it.
Benny Henderson Jr.: The public relations guy and good friend Bob Trieger sent me a press release where Frans Botha was telling the world, he was going to retire you, his exacts words was, “I will retire Evander Holyfield”, your thoughts?
EH: He should do his very best and I will too, in general everybody wants to retire somebody, but it is up to me to retire. Unfortunately, Frans will not be the person to retire me, if anybody retires me, it will be me retiring myself.