Exclusive Interview: Evander Holyfield

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Evander Holyfield

Holyfield Wants Nothing To Do With Williams!

Evander, can you give us your thoughts on the Tyson-Williams fight? "I actually think that this has to be one of the best fights I've seen Mike fight in years. Maybe since 1996. Mike was winning every round and in that first round the guy couldn't hit him, he was dipping and everything appeared to be back. But this guy was able to endure the punishment that Mike was really giving him and then getting his own good shots in there which proves that Mike takes good shots. I just believe that Mike shot himself out because usually a person folds after taking such an accumulation of heavy shots. Mike was really hammering that guy good and hurt him in every round, but (Williams) was very durable and kept coming back. "

GL: Do you believe he was truly that durable, or do you think the fact that Mike didn't take him out when he had him hurt shows how much he's deteriorated?

Evander Holyfield: Mike Tyson is Mike. He hits hard and I guess in those early fights where Mike used handle people, they were fighting him differently. They were more concerned about hard they were going to hit and they continued to let Mike pound on them until they got knocked out. Williams got into it and traded punches with Mike and Mike had to get out of the way of some of what was coming, and that's what threw him off and that's why he got Mike out. Williams was swinging at the same time Mike was and not too many people fight back with Mike. This guy did that and took that chance because he was getting hit anyway so he stood there and traded and was able to get Tyson out of there.

GL: I was shocked that he got stopped in four rounds by Williams brother.

EH: I don't think the point of being stopped is the issue because he gave all that he had for those four rounds, thinking he was going to get him out before then. This guy weighed 265 though and he was a lot stronger than people gave him credit for. If you look at his record, it speaks for itself. Because the guy was from London, they took him and nice record for granted.

GL: What are your thoughts on the injury to his knee which they're saying prevented Mike from getting proper leverage on his punches?

EH: I think that is a valid point because I was sitting there ringside and saw Tyson handling the guy and then all of a sudden he started grabbing at his knee. I thought he was going to stop fighting then. I don't know how he messed up his knee, but he messed his knee up bad. He continued to fight on, but before he hurt his knee he was just crushing the guy and the guy wasn't able to touch him. Once he hurt his knee the other guy picked it up, but I don't know for sure how badly it affected Mike because each of us is different. But whenever you hurt something you should put it behind you as quickly as you can.

GL: After seeing Tyson's performance against Williams do you think he should continue to fight?

EH: All of that is up to Mike. What anyone else thinks means nothing, every man should have their own opinion of how long they should carry on so that's entirely up to Mike. He may go back and watch the tape and see that was in the fight the whole time and want to pay the price necessary to overcome adversity. More people are going to fight Mike harder now because they see that once you take a stance against him you have a chance because it makes it difficult. But that's what life is all about, once everyone starts to fight Mike back he needs to find ways to overcome the adversity.

GL: If Mike decides to fight again, does his next fight have to be the rematch with Danny Williams in order for him to be a viable PPV attraction?

EH: Strategy wise that would be the right move. He should just give the guy his props as a good fighter and say let's do it again. That will actually make my fight with Mike even better. I would fight Tyson again because of the name recognition there and I would give him another chance. But that's definitely business he needs to take care of first. And I'm sure this young guy is going to be willing to make the rematch, it's going to be all up to Mike. Now that everyone got the opportunity to see guys fight. The rematch would be much bigger.

GL: Prior to Mike's loss, were there any serious discussion for Holyfield-Tyson III?

EH: Nothing but what the press had said. No one from their side contacted any of my people. And I want people to understand that I don't have any vendetta's with anyone out there. My goal is to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Mike brings a lot to the table and I will always look at the fight. Here's a guy who regardless of what people say about him, he still brings excitement to the game. Even for those four rounds, those four rounds may be the fight of the year. It was a great fight, and people Mike have been disappointed with Tyson, but one thing you didn't hear anybody say was, 'that was a lousy fight.' It was the kind of fight everyone wanted but the wrong guy won. Everyone in the arena was shocked because Mike was lighting that guy up, but the guy fought back and made it a real fight. It's sad that Williams didn't receive any credibility coming in.

GL: Even though it wouldn't be a title fight would you fight Danny Williams?

EH: (laughing) Nope. For what? Why in the world would I want to fight Danny Williams? I want one of those guys with the belts, probably just like Danny Williams does. Danny Williams will have England following him too now, so he should be able to set himself up pretty good. The guy can fight and he wasn't a fluke.

GL: Is there any official update as to what's next for you?

EH: Not yet. But you know what? I'm still working. I'm not too caught up with any date, I'm just making sure I'm prepared.

GL: 2004 could be an year off, would that bother you?

EH: I would like to fight before the end of the year, but it doesn't really bother me too much because like I said, I'm working and preparing myself from now. When they took my license from me, I was out for one year and after that I was back as strong as I ever was. It doesn't make sense to be in a hurry for nothing, I'm waiting for something significant to come my way.


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