The ‘Real’ End

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: April 18, 2010

IOWA CITY (BASN) — Evander Holyfield beat Fran Botha last weekend, just in case you cared.

I didn’t for the simple reason; it was a fight that begged the question, why?

Holyfield was a great champion at his peak and he would have beaten Botha if they both fought in their peak.

So what we saw the other night is what we would have seen in the mid 90’s if they have fought.

Boxing have many exciting fights coming up including Mayweather-Mosley coming up but over the past two weeks, we have seen the geezer division geared up when Bernard Hopkins fought an over the hill Roy Jones followed up by Holyfield fighting Botha, two fighters who peaked a decade ago.

(Botha may have been a top ten fighter a decade ago, but no one will accuse Botha of being a Hall of Fame fighter at his very best.)

These fights were more of curiosity but hardly prove anything.

Holyfield was one of the great fighters but that was a decade ago, if not longer and he will never be a World Champion much less a top ten fighter today.

Yes, he did manage almost defeat Nicolay Valuev a year ago but that was a mirage against an oversized heavyweight.

There is nothing left to prove or add to Holyfield’s legacy and every fight is nothing more than a replay of the old Mel Brooks line about a title for a future Spaceballs movie, “The sequel, The search for more money.”

For Holyfield, every fight is there to pay off bills and the search more money.

Now maybe the real crime is that someone thought that it would be a good idea to have Hopkins-Jones and Holyfield-Botha as a PPV event.

Neither fight was worth the 50 dollars that viewer had to part with to see a group of aging fighters fight.

There would be a time that a Holyfield-Botha been relegated to backwater places.

Roy Jones found himself a few years back fighting in boxing heavens like Idaho against second tier opponent while he waited for one more shot at a big time pay day.

That day came several times in the form of fights with Felix Trinidad and Joe Calzaghe , but his fight against Hopkins will probably be the last big pay days but in the strange world of boxing, who knows.

We may end up seeing a Holyfield-Jones on PPV, just for the voyeurs seeking the boxing equivalent of a car wreck.

Bernard Hopkins can make the case that even at 45, he is still one of the best light heavyweights and at this stage of his career; he is interested in pay days, big pay days.

As an officer in Golden Boy Productions, he is not just a fighter but a promoter.

As for Jones, it is time that he becomes a full time promoter in his own promotion company, Square D.

Hopkins is still a serious challenger for a title and he is similar to Archie , who competed for titles late in his career.

Jones is not nor is Holyfield a serious contender for any titles.

These men have long since seen their best days and they have no more left to make a drive for a championship.

You can make the case that either fighters aren’t even top ten in their respective divisions.

We can’t force fighters to retire and if fans want to shell out big bucks to see their old favorites on PPV, so be it. But there is a time that fighters need to look in the mirror and say, good bye.

In a sport that can leave a fighter with long term damage, there is no reason for various state commissions to approve bouts involving old stars long past their prime.

The final words end with the fans. If fans simply say no to ticket sales or to PPV, then these old warriors will finally just fade away.

Roy Jones and Evander Holyfield have graced the boxing ring with their greatness and these fighters believe they should be allowed to write their own endings to their stories.

These stories resembled Greek tragedies as old men seek their youth, only to find there is no fountain of youth.