Written by Nick Tylwalk
It pains me to write things that are even remotely negative about Evander Holyfield. Among heavyweight champions during my lifetime, the Real Deal is quite possibly my favorite.
I've also said many times that boxers should be allowed to fight as long as they want. That's provided they aren't endangering themselves medically - that is, more than they normally are engaging in a sport where people are hitting them repeatedly in the head.
That being said, it does pain me when boxers, especially one as courageous as Holyfield, seem to be out of touch with reality. And that's exactly what he seems to be when you hear him talk about once again becoming heavyweight champion of the world.
See, I'm pretty sure Holyfield has a good chance of defeating Brian Nielsen in Denmark this Saturday. He may even look good doing it, as I'm not sure Nielsen is going to perform at a very high level at this point in his career.
Assumimg he wins, Holyfield has made it very clear that he hopes it puts him in line for a shot at one of the "real" heavyweight belts. The problem? One of those belts is held by David Haye, and the others are held by the Klitschko brothers.
I think if we could magically go back in time and bring the Holyfield from 15-20 years ago to the present, he'd make for a pretty entertaining match-up with Haye. Actually, I'd favor the Real Deal in that fight. Either of the Klitschkos would be favorites, but I'd bet the younger Holyfield would fare better than most of the smaller challengers Wladimir and Vitali have faced so far.
As for the current, 48-year old Holyfield? I think he'd have a very small chance against Haye and virtually none against either Klitschko. He'd give it his all, because that's what he does, but I wouldn't care to watch him get beat down by Wlad or Vitali in one-sided fashion.
Since this is boxing we're talking about, I'm a little nervous someone would actually consider putting Holyfield in against one of the champs because he's a big name who would sell tickets. I hope I'm wrong.
Real Deal, you've earned the right to fight as long as you want. Just please, tone down the title talk before someone takes it seriously.
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