“The boxing game is a young man’s game, but one of the biggest parts of it is can you handle the pressure. That’s the difference between Deontay and Joshua in my opinion...Joshua may get things out better and be able to articulate and things, but we going to see if you can fight like that. I think it’s going to be a great fight and when a fight is great, you don’t know who gonna win,” stated boxing legend Evander Holyfield, who talked about his life as a promoter and much more. Check it out!
PC: Anytime the name Evander Holyfield is mentioned, they talk about how much heart you had, but I think your ring smarts and ring IQ was just as vital to your success as your heart. You were a thinking fighter in that ring.
EH: Right! A lot of people don’t understand the game of boxing. They don’t understand that you practice like you fight. I understood that you’re not always going to be the tallest, you’re not always going to be the shortest, you’re not always going to be the strongest fighter, so there are adjustments that you have to make. If you don’t practice those adjustments, then you’re not going to be able to make them. I always fought differently and had to come up with another style. Everybody who beat me, I came back and fought them again; I tore them up. I beat Lennox Lewis in the rematch; they just gave it to him. They knew that I was going to retire after that fight and that’s the reason they did it that way. I said, well, I learned something after that fight. And I’m a promoter now and I tell my fighters, you can’t always let the reporters know what you’re really going to do. They will try to mess up your ends; how you want to retire and when it’s best not to say nothing. That’s what Lennox Lewis did. He got out of there without saying a word.
PC: Now that you are on the other side of the spectrum and the business side of it, what has it been like being a promoter so far?
EH: The only thing I look at is the betterment of fighters. One thing that I will make sure of is that these guys get a fair shake. I tell these kids, the business part of boxing is that you gotta save your money just like I gotta save mine. The company is not built off of you. You’re one of our fighters. Think about how many fighters we’re going to have. When you leave, somebody else going to come. So you can’t let nobody tell you I stole your money because we’re still making money. So when you get your money, you gotta invest your money and make smart decisions because that day is going to come. Like my momma told me, “Boy, you ain’t going to be young your whole life.” I looked up and I was 55 (laughing). Now people think they got a time on life. It don’t slow down for you. I actually still do real well as far as working out and things like that, but I don’t have the reflexes that I used to have. As far as knowledge for the game, I’m more knowledgeable now, but I can’t do it. Now, it’s my job to find somebody who can do it. You see all of these great fighters and they have to walk away. I say they’d be still fighting if they could do it. They can’t do it, so they gotta find somebody talented enough and got more confidence than them to do it. They only time somebody know if they are good is because they got somebody telling them what to do.
PC: The mental could still be there, but time doesn’t wait on no man and physically you just can’t pull that trigger like you used to.
EH: The boxing game is a young man’s game, but one of the biggest parts of it is can you handle the pressure. That’s the difference between Deontay and Joshua in my opinion. You could see when Deontay say, “Look at Anthony Joshua’s face,” he looks like he’s going to fall out. And he’s serious. Joshua may get things out better and be able to articulate and things, but we going to see if you can fight like that. I think it’s going to be a great fight and when a fight is great, you don’t know who gonna win. You may hope somebody win, but you really don’t know who is going to do it. Wilder is a guy that don’t need a lot of help and he doesn’t have all of these strength and conditioning guys around him and he don’t care. He feels, “My team just as good as yours.” He busting guys upside the head and they can’t handle it. And he has good trainers because they don’t mess with him. They let him do his own thing. Sometimes you can have guys around you that try to change you up and change too much and mess up your own thing. They give you basic things and then you start to stripping his natural abilities. You can’t change a fighter so much and have them thinking, “Well, they said I do this wrong and that wrong.” You practice things and you work on new things, but you can’t just say, “Look man, you can’t do nothing right.” That is fixing something that isn’t broken and you can’t have that around because they will mess your guy up. Your guy can do a 1-2 better than anybody, but, they talk about all this other stuff. He can’t even think about his 1-2 because he trying to think of all of these other things he’s trying to do right and find other ways to win. But guess what? You ain’t been winning with none of that other stuff anyway (laughing). But if you do pick up some of them things along the way, that’s just extra value, but if you don’t get it, you’ve been knocking people out anyways.
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