One of the greatest to ever do it – Evander ‘The Real Deal’ Holyfield is now a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The four-time world heavyweight champion was inducted this past Sunday. Holyfield said that he only made it because of the support he got from his mother.
“This Hall of Fame thing is all about the help I got from someone else. My mom wouldn’t let me quit,” said Holyfield according to boxingscene.com
Holyfield was arguably the greatest heavyweight fighter of 1990’s. He is the only heavyweight fighter who won the championship on four occasions, but he did capture the cruiserweight title as well. During his illustrious career ‘Real Deal’ took on every single big name at the time. He famously fought Mike Tyson twice, took on Riddick Bowe three times and faced Lennox Lewis twice. On top of that, he went to battle against the likes of George Foreman, Larry Holmes, and James Toney
But according to Holyfield, one memorable fight stands out and it’s definitely a surprising choice.
“[Dwight Muhammad] Qawi was by far the toughest fight. By far,” said Holyfield in an interview with ESPN.
Qawi was Holyfield’s 12th professional fight. The bout took place in 1986 in Atlanta, Georgia. Holyfield won by split decision.
“No fighter ever pushed me to that limit. Oh my, that was a very tough fight. Condition-wise, I knew I could do it,” continued Holyfield.
Obviously, Holyfield then talks about the impressive trilogy that he had with Riddick Bowe and the impact that it had on his career.
“Those three fights with Bowe, they were outstanding fights. The first fight humbled me a little bit. I felt I could beat anyone with two hands, but Bowe proved if you don’t have a strategy you’re not going to beat a guy like him. He had a lot of talent. I beat him the second fight but I truly believe the first fight, even though I lost, gave me respect. A lot of people knew I could really fight after that one. They said, ‘Doggone, look at this guy. Look how he fought that big guy.’ Look at our size. This boy was knocking the daylights out of me and we stood toe to toe. After that, I had respect because after that fight a lot of people didn’t want to fight me,” summarised Holyfield.