Evander’s never-ending story

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: January 23, 2011

IOWA CITY (BASN) — Who would have thought that one would be writing about Evander Holyfield in 2011?

Yet here we are, writing about Evander Holyfield fighting Sherman Williams in a battle that will determine the World Boxing Federation Heavyweight Championship, just in case you really care.

And Williams qualification for the World Boxing Federation Heavyweight Championship by losing to Manual Charr, a heavyweight prospect some 15 months ago.

Sherman Williams would be considered a trial horse and Evander Holyfield use to fight these kinds of fighters on his rise to the heavyweight championship and now he fights these kinds of fighters on his way toward a eventual retirement.

Holyfield’s dream is one more championship.

This fight was considered a marketing tool toward a championship bout and it was just two years ago, Holyfield nearly defeated the giant Nikolay Valuev for his WBA championship in a bout marked by occasional flurries after lengthily period of inactivity.

The Valuev bout allowed the dream to continue, even in defeat.

In a night marked by the surreal, Holyfield came in at a fit 224. Say what you want, he has always kept in shape. But boxing is not about being shape or looking sculptured but about fighting.

Williams showed up close to 260 pounds on a 5-foot- 11 inch frame, a miniature fire plug. With near naked women dancing to Clarence Clemons saxophone in between rounds and fights, Holyfield promoted this as Redemption but Redemption from what, who knows.

In the first round, Holyfield bounced and moved as he jabbed before following up with combination. He circled, using his height to its advantage as he doubled jab the shorter Williams.

He initialed some clinches but managed to get an overhand right at the bell but it would appear that he lost the first round. The second round began with a triple jab by Holyfield as Williams kept his arms crossed in front of him.

Holyfield followed with a five punch combination and forced Williams into the ropes but as the round progressed, Williams finally connected on solid shots; forcing Holyfield to cover up.

Holyfield threw a nice lead right followed by a quick hook to open the third round. Williams flicked some jabs before landing some body shots. Holyfield started to bleed and Williams landed an overhand right on the cut eye.

Williams landed a second overhand right and rocked Holyfield with a left hook, followed by a solid body shots. Holyfield moved outside but Williams rocked Holyfield by yet another right hand.

Over the last minute, Holyfield looked hurt and old.

Williams, a 37 year old journey man put some hurt on the former champion but lucky for Holyfield, the fight was called due to accidental head butt and classified as a no contest.

As one boxing fan wrote, “They put this fight on pay for view so no one would see the fight.” This comment summed up what much of the internet thought as many wondered why was this pay for view, much less why was this even promoted.

Holyfield has long since left his best in the ring and the old warrior found himself hurt and dazed against a fighter that would have been nothing than sparring session if he faced Williams in his prime.

For Holyfield, the Holy Grail is a champion but at 48 and long shorn of his great ability, Holyfield looked but a shadow of himself but then, he has been but a shadow for over a decade but yet he kept fighting.

With a bout scheduled against Brian Nielsen in Denmark, Holyfield is trapped by illusion that the next fight will be the one that he discovers his fountain of youth but father time catches up with all athletes.

His career is over and has been for a long time. Illusions can keep a fighter fighting long after his prime but illusions can be a dangerous thing. When Evander looks in the mirror, he sees a well train body ready to rumble but when he gets in the ring, reaction that was once cat like quick are now merely slow motion version.

The punches that were thrown in bunches with a blink of eye are now a fraction of second slower. In boxing, fraction of seconds is the difference between championships victories or an old man getting nailed with solid shots.