Holyfield Resumes World Title Push In Texas

By Francis Walker
Updated: June 8, 2007

Evander Holyfield NEW YORK — Evander Holyfield’s path toward the heavyweight championship resumes on Saturday, June 30, in Houston. Holyfield (41-8-2, 27 KOs) will attempt to improve to 4-0 since his return last summer when he challenges Lou Savarese (46-6, 38 KOs ) to a 10-round bout.

Holyfield-Savarese: “The Road To The Heavyweight Championship,” will be promoted by Main Events and distributed on pay-per-view at a suggest retail of $29.99.

During his recent comeback, Holyfield has shown flashes as to what he will always be considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all-time. At age 44, of Atlanta, can still move like a wet paintbrush on canvas.

Holyfield can still jab effectively and throw combinations with consistent power. To his complement, Holyfield is always ready to fight.

“It doesn’t take Evander long to get into boxing shape because he arrives in camp well-conditioned,” Holyfield’s trainer Ronnie Shields said. “When some guys come to camp I have to start them on the pads because they’re not in good enough shape yet to go right into sparring. Evander’s different. With a veteran like Evander the most important thing is conditioning.”

In his last outing in March, Holyfield stopped a younger fighter with a wining record in Vinny Maddalone in the third round. Last year, Holyfield also won a decisive 12-round decision against Fres Oquendo and stopped journeyman Jeremy Bates.

Overall, Holyfield is 3-0, with 2 KOs since his return in August 2006. Holyfield has earned rankings in the WBC (No. 9), WBA (No. 14), IBF (No. 13), and WBO (No. 13). A victory against Savarese could catapult Holyfield even higher in the rankings.

The key to Holyfield’s recent success can be attributed to conditioning and sparring. “ When you’re experienced a lot of sparring is just about making adjustments,” Holyfield said.

“The only thing I need it for is to get my timing down. I remember before my first pro fight in Atlanta. I was sparring with Jimmy Young. For a while he had me looking foolish.”

“I kept saying to myself: ‘You mean to tell me this man is in his 40’s and you’re in your 20’s and you can’t hit this guy?’ It was embarrassing. I’d go in their and try and kill him and keep missing. But then I learned.”

“I used my brain,” Holyfield added. “I knew he’d slip four punches, so I’d throw eight so that he’d get hit with the last four. And I learned not to throw everything I had behind every punch.”

“You have to have balance. Otherwise, you leave yourself wide-open to be countered. Now I out-think the young guys. I play with their minds. You can’t beat knowledge.”

It would not be surprising if IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko or newly crowned WBO champion Sultan Ibragimov ceases the opportunity to fight a much older and more experienced Holyfield in the fall.

Savarese will not be easy. A native of Houston, Savarese, 41, is bigger at 6-feet-5 and 245 pounds. He could give the older and smaller man at 6-feet-2 and 216 pounds a run for his money.

Savarese, following a two-year layoff (2004-06) is 3-0, with 3 KOs during his comeback.

“I missed the sport when I left,” Savarese said. “The division is wide open, and I like my chances, style-wise against Evander. I don’t think this is a good fight for him. I’m bigger and stronger.”