Is this prick on Sauerland's payroll?
Holyfield No Match For Giant
December 22, 2008
IN A laboured 12-round championship bout that was more a trundle than a rumble, Evander Holyfield failed in his bid to become the oldest heavyweight champion of the world at the age of 46.
Russian Nikolai Valuev defeated the veteran on a majority points decision in Zurich on Saturday, to retain his World Boxing Association title. Two of the judges scored the contest in favour of the 146-kilogram, 2.13-metre giant, 116-112, 115-114, while judge Guillermo Perez had it 114-114. That was being generous to the American.
This fight, between a cumbersome giant world champion and an ageing former four-time world champion whose best days are well behind him, made for tedious fare, although the contest was not the mismatch many had predicted.
It was a stalemate, at times, of epic proportions, Holyfield showing glimpses - just glimpses - of the great fighting spirit and his ability to counterpunch out of adversity that he once possessed, yet it was Valuev who simply used his size, reach and strength advantages to control the fight with his jab, and keep a bouncing Holyfield at bay.
The once-great fighter was incapable of felling a Goliath of a man who is the tallest, heaviest world champion of all time. As the fight wore on, so Valuev's reach, height, power - and perhaps most importantly, age advantage of 11 years - began to tell as he dominated the fight, finding Holyfield more often with his jab in the late rounds. Valuev became more ambitious with his right hand and combinations as Holyfield slowed, though he did take at least a dozen left hooks from the American throughout the fight.
Holyfield, gracious in defeat, said: "I saw it the other way than the judges but I'm not disappointed with my performance. He's a tough opponent and you see it when you are looking at a seven-foot fighter. The sheer size of him is the main factor. He fights well with it too and that was the problem."
There were chants of Ho-ly-field all night. He was a huge underdog, yet the crowd favourite. And how the Swiss wished for an upset. Holyfield started his dance and won the opening round with a left-right combination and a left hook, while Valuev reverted to type behind the jab. In the second, Holyfield managed to find his way in close a couple of times landing with clubbing left hooks to take the round. From round five onwards, however, Valuev dominated more as Holyfield slowed and worked less.
Yet it was hardly thrilling stuff. Holyfield looked for big, eye-catching shots all night, Valuev was clinical and one-dimensional. Such is the world heavyweight division at present. Valuev stepped up the pace from the eighth onwards, getting the better of the exchanges.
Holyfield, 46 years and two months old, was sure he could eclipse George Foreman, who won the same WBA title at the age of 45, when he knocked out Michael Moorer in 1994. It was not destined to be.
Yet Holyfield's name gave this fight enough of a draw for the venue to be sold out to capacity with 12,500 spectators in the Hallenstadion, normally the home of professional ice hockey outfit Zurich Lions. In a red robe, punching his gloves together Holyfield walked alone to the ring, rapturous applause greeting the ring warrior's every move. Holyfield stood in the ring, soaking it all up, clearly emotional. These are the nights he simply cannot force himself to give up. Yet maybe it is time for him to do exactly that. Afterwards, Holyfield ruled out retirement and said he wants another shot at being world champion for the fifth time.
"I don't doubt myself, people doubt me, but I have a history of proving people wrong," he said.
"I always make good bets, I know who I am.
"Unfortunately, I was injured before my previous fight and I actually thought I could win even though my shoulder was bust up.
"I didn't complain, I just went out and fought.
"I am healed now and, at the age of 46, I can still do it."
Telegraph, London and AFP