It’s no secret that former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield has made a hell of a lot of money during his career. It’s also no secret that he hasn’t got much of it left. Holyfield, who seems to be in desperate need of a huge payday has joined the boxing bandwagon, at least for heavyweights, and has challenged one of the world champion Klitschko brothers to a showdown. Holyfield said a fight against him would give one of the Ukrainians a chance to make the biggest payday of their careers.
Holyfield’s 49 years of age now and hasn’t fought in over a year. When he does make the headlines these days it’s not for his ring accomplishments, but for his financial troubles. His last fight took place in May of 2011 when he beat Brian Nielsen by a 10th-round TKO in Denmark. That win boosted the American’s record to 44-10-2, with 29 KOs, but he’s won just eight out of his past 18 bouts. Holyfield was a bronze-medal winner as a light heavyweight at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and turned pro the same year. He’s also a former world cruiserweight titleholder.
Holyfield claims the Klitschko brothers, Wladimir and Vitali shouldn’t turn down a bout with him just because of his age since age isn’t anything but a number. He said that the heavyweight champions have stated that they both respect Holyfield and they don’t want to beat him up and end his career. However, Holyfield said he has fought Larry Holmes and George Foreman earlier in his career and he felt the same way. He didn’t want to beat up on an older, popular boxer as he didn’t feel he had anything to gain from it, especially from the fans.
But Holyfield said he changed his stance on fighting those legends when he was told he could make $20 million by fighting them. He added that he wanted to make sure that Foreman and Holmes both wanted to take him on and it didn’t appear that he was the instigator and looking to fight older opponents. Holyfield feels that if the public knows he’s challenging the Klitschkos then fans will realize the champions aren’t picking a fight with an old guy, it’s the other way around.
There’s a good chance that boxing fans just see this as a ploy by Holyfield to make money and it wouldn’t be a competitive fight. Holyfield has reportedly made well over $200 million in his career, but has had to sell his huge mansion near Atlanta, Georgia and owes thousands of dollars in child support. He’s been threatened with a jail sentence on more than one occasion if he can’t pay up.
Vitali Klitschko, who is the WBC champion, will be taking on undefeated Manuel Charr of Germany in Moscow in September. Wladimir, who is the WBO, WBA, IBO, and IBF champion, hasn’t’ got a scheduled bout on the horizon at this time. A bout with Holyfield’s always a possibility, but it’s unlikely to garner much fan interest or revenue for that matter.