By Kelsey McCarson
It’s getting so ridiculous you kind of have to admire the guy. Vowing to stay unretired until he unifies the heavyweight championship of the world again, Evander Holyfield, at age 46, is getting ready to fight his 18th heavyweight title fight. Let that sink in for just a moment.
While most fighters struggle their entire career to just get that one shot at boxing immortality, Holyfield will be doing something this Saturday that has almost become commonplace for him, like taking out the trash or washing the dishes. He’ll be fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world.
Okay, so it’s not the heavyweight championship of the world, but to be fair there really is no real heavyweight champion right now anyway. So, if Holyfield can upset Nikolai Valuev for the WBA title, he’ll be the first 5 time heavyweight champion in the history of boxing– and he’s already the only 4-timer.
Unfortunately for Evander, while he is currently the only 4-timer, he’s also an old-timer. And, while he is still competitive against B-level fighters in the division today, he doesn’t quite have much of anything more than a puncher’s chance against the really good guys in the division.
Luckily, Valuev is somewhere in between a B-level fighter and the really good guys.
Sure, Valuev has a title belt, but does he really? Didn’t he lose it to the undefeated Ruslan Chagaev in 2007? Oh yeah, boxing is the kind of sport where fighters can be stripped of their belts for just about any reason whatsoever (in this case, an injury).
Nikolai Valuev may be a 7 foot giant, but he’s not exactly a world-beater. His best wins are 2 highly controversial decision victories over the competent John Ruiz. He also notched a victory over journeyman Jameel McCline when McCline blew out his knee in the 3rd round. Then there’s his majority decision win over Larry Donald.
Not exactly a list of future hall of famers
Still, Holyfield will be a decided underdog in the fight, if anything because he hasn’t proved to be The Real Deal in quite some time. I’m talking ten years ago.
Most likely, Valuev will ever so ungracefully plod along to another unimpressive win, but don’t be surprised to see the old man pull the upset. Holyfield has always done his best against bigger fighters who can’t move, and he’s been less impressive against smallish boxer types. If he can turn back the clock, even just a little bit, he should be able to capture his 5th world title and be in line for his 19th heavyweight title fight in the near future.
And who knows, a win against Valuev and a lucky punch or two against a Klitschko brother, and maybe Holyfield really could unify the titles again….
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