Once he was the Real Deal in the boxing ring for any boxer, whosoever may be. Undoubtedly the name of this great boxer would remain with pride till the boxing world remains. This American boxer has fought professionally in all the categories, be it Heavyweight or Cruiserweight or even in the Light-Heavyweight till 2011.
He is one the great undisputed champion in the Cruiserweight and Heavyweight division. He had an Olympic Bronze medal which he got in 1984. The ringmaster who had dominated the ring once had to give up all his treasure that he had gathered in his successful career. Facing the bankruptcy even he had let go his pride, the Georgia Mansion at an auction.
The condition was so severe that destiny as Tyson who had bitten off Holyfield’s ear, has snatched his medals, gloves, belts, championship rings, robes and even furniture and jewelry, almost every possession of this champion boxer.
Quite unfortunately earned earning of $513 million has gone off his hand and presently this eminent master of the ring is left with a paltry estimated net worth of mere $500 thousand dollars.
Evander Holyfield was born on 19th October 1962 in Atmore, Alabama, United States of America. He is the youngest of 9 children who grew up under the care of his mother, Annie. Annie moved her family with her children to Atlanta, Georgia and Holyfield were only 5 then. Holyfield in the early childhood was called as Chubby and was very unaggressive quite boy with no interest in squabbles or fights. But when Holyfield attained the age of 8 he started taking boxing training from a father like a figure Carter Morgan at Warren Memorial Boys Club.
At the beginning, he remained an undefeated participant in the pee wee tournament for two years in Atlanta. Later after completing education from his high school he had worked as a lifeguard and in the capacity of fueling the plane. During these days he wakes up early in the dawn at 4 is to jog before getting onto his job and after coming back practiced for an hour with his master’s son Ted.
He will be remembered as one of the most indomitable boxers ever, but in his early childhood, he did also love football along with his boxing gloves. In the Warren Boys Club, he was highly appreciated as a linebacker.
He also wanted to be in the squad of his Fulton High School team, but his stature doesn’t make him eligible for the game. He intimated his inability to his mother who asked him to ‘finish it out.’ Holyfield had always attributed his success to his mother’s guidance. Perhaps he is the only boxer ever who fights calmly for the purpose of the sport and not with extreme vengeance and retaliation as other do with the opponent.
Under the watchful eyes of his coach Morgan, Holyfield through his tough training learned to transcend the limits and gain confidence in various weight divisions. All of a sudden a terrible incident happened in Holyfield life, his most venerable coach died after long illness. Totally disarrayed Holyfield felt keeping the boxing gloves on the rack. Soon he realized with the intervention of Bernard, his brother that the rigorous practice sessions have fallen heavily on his most respected coach and as succumb to death. In that case, if he quit that that would b grievous mistake on his part and a great insult to his master Morgan.
At the Olympic trail in 1980, Holyfield was rejuvenated. In the period he started his career in the amateur boxing. At the beginning of his long career, he amazed the world in the amateur competitions at the Golden Gloves from 1980 till 1984 with 160 wins to mere 14 losses in 75 knockout wins. His success was registered in 1982 with Golden Gloves Amateur title. He won the title at National Sports Festival in 1983. In 1984 he was qualified for the Olympics but after knocking three opponents controversially disqualified from hitting the opponent after the order to separate. Though he got the bronze, the purpose remained far from being attained.
After the episode at Olympic, Holyfield wanted to be in the ring for the cruiserweight. After getting into the pro, his first breakthrough came when he got over Dwight Muhammad Qwai after 15 rounds of fights. World Boxing Federation and International Boxing Federation got a new champion in the cruiserweight division. After two years of defeating Carlos DeLeon, he got the title from World Boxing Council and became the undisputed champion in the boxing world. The ship had not reached the shore as Holyfield felt he had to prove his dominance in heavyweight which would help him to be the real champ with big money.
Each one was skeptical about his decision, but the master had other intention and trained hard under ‘Project Omega.’ In training, he took help from a triathlete, an orthopedic surgeon and even from the ballet instructor. He left no stone unturned. Holyfield bewildered all with his six wins against those who were heavier than his weight. He went passed Michael Dukes in March 1989 to face the ‘Iron Mike’ Tyson. In between Tyson lost to James Douglas. He was having different personal problems as wife Paulette denied the relation and a car dealership failed.
All such denials had gathered in the fist of Holyfield on 25th October 1990 to drop Douglas on the floors in mere seven minutes. The world was crying for Tyson-Holyfield, but Holyfield met George Foreman and won in grueling 12 rounds. Tyson got entangled in a rape case, and Holyfield encountered Bert Cooper and Larry Homes but was little away from his credibility.
Soon after he thought of retirement but came back with a win over Bowe but lost to Michael Moorer. The most important fight of his life against Tyson came up in November 1996 which he won with the trust in God even though Tyson was usual in his unruly conduct. The rematch occurred in June 1997, but Tyson failed drastically to stop the master of the ring even after biting Holyfield’s right ear.
Holyfield has come across many ladies in his life. First, he was engaged to Paulette Bowen, his fiancée on 17th May 1985. The relation does not stay long as Paulete filed a divorce in 1990 which was granted in 1991. Then after few years Janice Itson got into his life and the duo married in 1996 but again the argument failed to justify the reason to stay together, and they departed in 2000. Strength would always seek a lady to heal up the wound, and Candi Calvana Smith has come along. The couple engaged in 2003, but she might have lost the reason to be in his life after 2012.
During this long period, Holyfield has been a father to five children from his different wives. He became the father first time when his first wife Paulette Bowen became the mother of Evander Jr. His other children are Ewin Ezekiel, Elijah Esaias, Eleazar Evan, Eli Ethan and his only daughter is Evette Ashley. Hope he had also passed the religious lessons to his children that his mother Alice had taught him in his childhood.
His life has been enumerated in various books. ‘Holyfield: The Humble Warrior’ and ‘Champions of the Rings’ require special mentioning. Apart from this in the series of various periodicals the glory of this eminent boxer has been drawn.
Presently he is often seen on the television, and in 2016 he appeared in ‘Bailando,’ a dancing reality show in Argentina. Very, unfortunately, the ringmaster does not has his medals with him which would remind him of his glorious past but the truth is that Holyfield still has his holy God with him.
Full Name: Evander Holyfield
Date of Birth: 19th October 1962
Birth Place: Atmore, Alabama, United States of America
Age: 55 Years Old
Profession: Former Professional Boxer
Height: 6 Feet 2.5 Inches / 189 cm
Weight: 102 Kg
Net worth: $500,000