By: Sean Crose
“I’ve been in Vegas for the past five years,” welterweight Charvis Holifield tells me. I ask him what kind of town Sin City is to live in. “Can’t complain,” he responds good naturedly. “I’ve seen worse.” Holified will be putting his skills on display against Donald Ward on the 21st of this month in Memphis at the Fed Ex Forum. “Training’s going pretty good,” he says, “I’ve been going out to the mountains.”
Holifield, whose record stands at 7-2-1 may have two losses to his record, but one of those losses was by disqualification – in a fight Holifield says he was on the verge of winning. “It was a cheap mouthpiece,” he says in regards to the gum guard which caused him to lose his 2014 bout against David Thomas. “I was brought in on the B side,” he claims. “I’m one and oh at the time.”
Holifield had lost his mouthpiece twice in the end of the bout, then, when Holified was coming on strong, it happened a final time. “I was ripping my shots and my mouthpiece came out,” says Charvis. “I beat myself.”
Charvis, however, didn’t let the slip on the road stop him. Indeed, he had been boxing since he was a young man. “My dad introduced me to combat sports,” he says.“He was a fifth degree black belt and Tai Kwan Do.” It was clear early that Charvis had a talent. “When I turned nine he stopped teaching karate,” he says of his father. “Then I found a boxing gym in my hometown of Fremont, Ohio.” Charvis had found the sport which would define him.
“I stuck with boxing,” he says. “It was always something that I had, that I loved, that I wanted to do.” After a rather vast amateur career (“I made it to the national golden gloves in 2003 out here in Vegas), Charvis’ wife gave him the push he needed. “My wife was like: ‘If you want to box, we have to go to Vegas,’” he says. Taking her sound advice, Charvis moved to Vegas. “I was going to the Mayweather boxing club,” he says. “I met J’Lean love and we’ve been friends ever since.”
Holifield is now “with the Money Team, with Affiliation Management,” and ready to continue his climb. “I would like it to move forward and go in a positive direction, of course,” he says of his career. “I would like to have bigger opportunities.” Yet unlike some professional athletes, Holified knows that fighters can’t go on endlessly. “I’m not going to be doing this forever,” he admits. “Right now, I just recently got my real estate license. I just passed the state and the national test out here in Vegas.”
Perhaps that move out west will pay off in more ways than one.