June 26, 2014

Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield finally retires from boxing at age 51

The Real Retirement Deal
By Jeffrey Freeman -- You just never know when boxing history will be made in the Great State of Maine. I'm quite sure that nobody who was there in 1965 expected to be involved in the most iconic fight in the history of boxing when they took their seats in Lewiston to watch the ill-fated Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston rematch along with the smallest crowd ever for a world heavyweight title fight. I certainly didn't expect to be seated ringside next to Evander Holyfield two weeks ago at the Portland EXPO, when and where Holyfield told KO Digest he was "done" with boxing. In reality, I was just there to cover the local fights and maybe get a handshake from the former 3-time champ who was in the house for a paid meet and greet with fans. Instead, what I got was the the scoop before everyone else, making KO Digest "first" to break the news. Two weeks later, the rest of the boxing media is finally catching up.

Lem Satterfield of RingTV (the official website for The Ring Magazine) reported today that Holyfield had "officially" retired to a small group of reporters in New York, including their own Tim Smith.

For myself and readers of KO Digest, this is "old news" - twelve days old to be exact.

Media ally Michael Woods of ESPN fame was quick to take to Twitter  in favor of reality with this real deal of a Tweet:

Next stop Canastota
Inactive for the past three years, Holyfield kept the boxing world on hold, never announcing his retirement, rather insisting to anyone who would listen that his goal was to retire only after regaining the undisputed world heavyweight championship, a monster task considering Holyfield's age (51) and deterioration as a boxer. That's to say nothing of the current champion, Wladimir "Dr Steelhammer" Klitschko, a monster of a man, undefeated for the past ten years and eclipsed only by Joe Louis in terms of the length of his title reign. For the legendary Holyfield, retirement marks the end of a long and decorated career that began professionally in 1984 after coming home from the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles with a controversial Bronze Medal. In 1986, Holyfield won the world cruiserweight championship in just his twelfth professional fight against future hall of famer Dwight Muhammad Qawi.

After earning recognition as the greatest cruiserweight of all time, the undersized Holyfield then moved up in weight to the heavyweight division in 1988 where he laid down a legacy of greatness that includes wins over Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Larry Holmes, Buster Douglas, Michael Moorer, Michael Dokes, George Foreman, and a holy host of others. Holyfield also made history by joining Muhammad Ali as the only heavyweight champion in boxing to regain the title not once but twice.

Reported by Jeffrey Freeman

With his place in fistic history secure as an all time great warrior, Holyfield is now just two years away from his inevitable induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in upstate Canastota, New York. As always, KO Digest readers were the very first to know.