The last great American Heavyweight Evander Holyfield had his career unofficially ended last night in West Virginia. The once great Holyfield will probably still try to fight again somewhere, but he can’t fight anymore.
He can get into phenomenal condition at age 48, he can bounce in the ring, he can throw some nice punches – but he can’t fight anymore. Sherman “Tank” Williams was beating Holyfield with unexpected ease.
Before a small crowd at the Greenbrier Resort Hotel, Holyfield was cut over his left eye late in round two by an accidental head butt. In round three, Williams landed at least four solid right hands, the last of which buckled the knees of the former four-time heavyweight champion who won the world title from Buster Douglas almost two decades ago.
After the third, Holyfield’s corner seemed to sense The Warrior didn’t want to fight anymore, as did members of the state commission who deferred to Holyfield and stopped the fight. The cut wasn’t even bleeding. Officials ruled it a technical draw.
If the fight, which looked more like a sparring session, would have continued for one more round it would have gone to the scorecards. It’s likely Holyfield would have lost on those cards, that is, if he would have been able to last another round of getting hit by those surprisingly fast Williams righthanders.
Williams, a classy gentleman, was not upset at the ending, for he didn’t seem especially eager to want to beat a man he undoubtedly deeply admires, like the rest of us.
Holyfield supposedly has another date in March in Denmark against Brian Nielsen, but after this performance by Holyfield, it looks like Williams is more deserving of the payday.
Perhaps it was all a blessing for it to end this way, with both men standing. Holyfield has awed the world with his superhuman courage and champion’s pride for decades. To go out on his shield against a journeyman like Williams would have been a sad indignity.
Hopefully the great champion Holyfield will accept that it’s over and exit the sport now before he can get seriously hurt.