Evander Holyfield felt the changing of the guard in the heavyweight division multiple times, losing his title to Riddick Bowe, Michael Moorer, Lennox Lewis and John Ruiz.
By the time his Hall of Fame career came to an end, he would be boxing’s only four-time heavyweight champion of the world.
Holyfield was in attendance observing the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury in February and witnessed Wilder’s reign conclude as the WBC champion.
Holyfield said that Wilder needs to throw a better jab behind his right hand in order to offer a more competitive fight in the trilogy. Wilder lost via seventh-round TKO in a one-sided beating and the match mercifully ended when Wilder co-trainer Mark Breeland threw in the towel as Fury was fiercely beating Wilder in the corner.
“One thing that needs to happen [for Wilder in the third fight] is that he needs to keep his hands up and not to get his eardrum busted. He got hit with every shot that Tyson Fury threw. It’s almost like he was stuck in the mud,” Holyfield told BoxingScene.com in an interview. “He swung his hands like they were too heavy. Usually, he doesn’t get hit that much. He has the energy to move around. Something had to have happened to him in the fight.”
Holyfield originally thought that Fury openly admitting his gameplan in the promotion as an aggressive, come-forward fighter and wanting to pressure Wilder was not a sound idea.
“Fury said, ‘I’m gonna get on him.’ I was like, ‘oh, shoot.’ Fury’s about to get knocked out. But he put the pressure and got him out of there,” said Holyfield.
Holyfield is training at the age of 57 to partake in an exhibition boxing match with Mike Tyson. Although Tyson infamously bit his ear in 1997, Holyfield said he related to Wilder’s unequal performance because he had his eardrum busted, too, when he fought Lennox Lewis in 1999.
“In my first fight with Lennox Lewis, he busted my eardrum. I had to pray not to quit,” said Holyfield. “I was fighting someone bigger than me, and just as sskilful and didn’t have any balance. I mustered through it. But I just wanted to stop and quit. I didn’t have any firepower. If it wasn’t for my son being [in attendance], I would have just walked out. But I didn’t want for him to be teased and people say, ‘when pressure hit, he just quit.’”
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