By Ivan G. Goldman
What are we to make of the news that financially besieged Evander Holyfield has been ejected from his 54,000-square-foot mega-mansion near Atlanta?
According to gossip site TMZ, which broke the story with (Gosh!) real-live photos of the moving trucks, the former heavyweight champ owed $14 million on an estate that sold for $7.5 million at auction. In other words, the poor guy was so far underwater on his loans he had to look up to see the wreck of the Titanic.
We’re told the trucks spent several hours at the mansion — though it’s unclear where the movers were taking his stuff. Judging by the size of the place, there must have been quite a bit.
The place had been in and out of foreclosure for years. He’d also been threatened with jail more than once for falling several hundred thousand dollars behind in child support payments. Evander allegedly has at least eleven children. The IRS also has him on its deadbeat list. In 2008 the Associated Press reported that among his creditors was a Utah consulting company that went to court claiming he failed to pay back more than a half-million dollars for landscaping. I’m not even sure what that means. Personally, when I need to do a little work around the yard I don’t bring in a consulting firm.
Evander’s ex-home has 109 rooms, including 17 bathrooms, 3 kitchens, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a bowling alley, a movie theater, and an assortment of other Holyfield necessities stored within its 235 acres. Excess comes to mind.
But let’s also acknowledge the pull of schadenfreude, which translates from German to mean pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. Usually it’s directed at the high and mighty, and it can be hard to resist. But after all, in June 2009, the New York Times did the math and figured Evander had earned more than $200 million in purses. A year earlier he famously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I’m not broke. I’m just not liquid.”
Although it’s unfortunate that he’s going through hard times along with so many others, the fact is, he has fewer excuses than someone whose job was sent to India by a heartless corporation. That mansion of his had only 1,000 square feet less than the White House. What was going on in Evander’s life that required the same amount of space required by the seat of the U.S. executive branch governing 300 million residents? The White House is so expansive that LBJ’s brother used to live there and no one even noticed. JFK was able to get cuties escorted in and out without Jackie catching on. I don’t know who was coming in and out of Evander’s house, but given all those children from several women, we have some idea of the gender of his visitors.
It should also be noted that plenty of investment bankers live in similar mansions who never gave us exciting ring moments but did kick the legs out from under the global economy with their crazy bets on weird financial instruments called derivatives. So Evander’s failings should be put in their proper perspective.
Holyfield, who will turn 50 in October, last fought in May of last year against an opponent named Brian Nielsen who’d somehow managed to compile a record of 64-2 by fighting almost exclusively in his native Denmark. Evander stopped him in round ten of a twelve-rounder.
I’m not the best source of financial advice, but honestly, and I’m not kidding on this, Evander needs counseling. As would anyone who thinks he needs 54,000 square feet of living space. When you need to spend an estimated $1 million annually just to keep your place maintained, it’s a strong clue that your priorities got twisted somewhere. And to keep future expenses down “The Real Deal” might also consider picking up some condoms. If he’s too embarrassed to take them up to a middle-aged female cashier in a drug store chain, I just looked it up and found a 10-pack of Trojan Sensitivity Bareskin Lubricated, Latex Condoms advertised on Amazon for $5.48. Enough said.
Ivan G. Goldman’s latest novel Isaac: A Modern Fable came out in April 2012 from Permanent Press. Information HERE
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