Holyfield Revisited

October 10, 2008

This is a short article I wrote for Furman’s school paper three and a half years ago. It was mainly about a ridiculous Riddick Bowe fight I watched in April 2005 but amazingly, it is still applicable today:

What is with aging boxers these days? Does anyone else find it ridiculous to see the names Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, and Evander Holyfield in the news again?

I don’t know if anyone else was bored last Thursday night and happened to see the Riddick Bowe fight live on channel 27. If you didn’t, you’re lucky. Bowe weighed in at a massive 280 pounds and moved as though he weighed twice that. Only in a sorry split decision was he able to beat an equally pathetic guy named Zumbrun. Bowe is 37 and hadn’t been heard from since threatening to beat up kids at his door at Halloween in the mid-90s or domestic abuse charges in the late 90s.

Or how about Tyson? The always unpredictable former Heavyweight champion is planning on fighting June 11, only his fifth since 2001. The guy is 38 years old; he tore cartilage in his knee less than a year ago in a fight, and has a tattoo covering half his face.

Finally, we have Holyfield. The man is 40 years old and is in the process of trying to schedule a comeback fight. No US state is currently going to let him fight due to his already slurred speech and high chances of causing permanent brain damage. Several other countries however might just let this former champ have his wish.

There is precedent for this in boxing with the likes of Larry Holmes and George Foreman fighting for what has seemed like forever, but it doesn’t make it right. Call it quits guys, before your reputations and brain cells are completely gone.

With Holyfield in negotiations to fight WBA heavyweight champ Nikolai Valuev, it’s possible we could see the return of the 1984 Olympic bronze medalist. That’s right, 1984, when I was one-year old. The great Holyfield bouts came in the early to mid-90s which is now fifteen years in the past.

It really would be sad to see the 48-year old out there, even if he wins. Having another former champion turn into Muhammad Ali would be a travesty, and for what?

World’s Fastest Man, Heavyweight Champ?

August 21, 2008

An interesting debate this morning on the radio about what title you’d like to have above any other, in the world of sports. The two big ones in comparison were world’s fastest man or boxing heavyweight champ. There were other choices like NBA champion (are you kidding?), Super Bowl MVP (still nowhere close and you have to wear those dopey t-shirts and give the even dumber Disney World phrase) or Heisman Trophy winner (not bad, but not on par with the international sports).

Honestly I’d have to go with world’s fastest man. Heavyweight champ would be cool and everything but you’d have to be a heavyweight to begin with, which I’m not that interested in, and you’d have to have your head beaten for a living. World’s fastest man, while it might not last more than a year, would be a terrific title (though as Deadspin pointed out yesterday, no white man has ever crossed the ten second barrier) because it is legitimately referencing the entire world. When you win the NBA Finals and they say world champion, that’s not exactly true. Same even with boxing, with all the different classifications and even the fact that it’s just the world champion of the heavyweight division. Doesn’t even count featherweights, middleweights, bantamweights or whatever other weight divisions exist.

World’s fastest man is definitive, everyone knows what it means and you probably had to be involved in one of the major events (Olympics, World Championships, Olympic Trials, etc) to be going that fast.