Boxing: Evander Holyfield, The Prospect

EvanderEvander Holyfield, little more than an echo of the fearsome box-puncher he once was, continues his uncoordinated drudge toward another heavyweight title shot away from the brighter lights of mainstream contendership. His latest run, previously stopping off at the backwater of Jeremy Bates – not the former British tennis player, though it may as well have been – and the Puerto Rican village Fres Oquendo next faces Vinny Maddalone. A fighter of orthodox stance and limited ability.

Maddalone has an aesthetic enough record, but it’s a long time since someone with his genes or heritage contested anything approaching a meaningful heavyweight contest, and Maddalone wont break that trend. Defeat to Brian Minto, a fighter who then proceeded to lose to a 75 year old Tony Tubbs in his next fight. Maddalone’s credentials do not set the pulse racing. But then who does in the present heavyweight landscape? Other points of reference, he was being out-boxed by seven foot javelin thin club-fighter Julius Long before a technical decision and failed drug test intervened – context? Long was battered to the canvas by a green Audley Harrison about four years ago.

Yes the same Audley Harrison who jumped when someone said boo.

My only surprise is how slowly Holyfield is taking his latest journey toward what he regards as his destiny of a fifth claim to the a fraction of the heavyweight title. Futile. I don’t wish to dissuade Evander from his pursuit, he is after all medically fit to fight but he really is a barely recognisable shadow of his former self. But then the same could be said of Roy Jones, Erik Morales, Arturo Gatti and Johnny Tapia but they still keep lacing them up.

Trouble with Holyfield is, he appears more deluded than the others and is putting himself in harms way with guys weighing 250 pounds. You could argue their weight works to his advantage, offering even his sedated reflex opportunity to duck and move. Defeats to James Toney and Larry Donald suggest Holyfield couldn’t get out of the way of a octogenarian on a mobility scooter.

Stay safe Evander.

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