Exclusive Interview: Evander Holyfield Part I

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Evander Holyfield Part I

GL: Over the last couple of weeks I've been hearing serious rumblings that you were going to be working with Murad Muhammad for your next fight. Is that the case and if so, what can you tell us about that situation? "We're going to be doing a co-promotion for my next fight."

GL: Is it a one fight deal?

Evander Holyfield: "It could be two, but it's not like I'm looking for a promoter, I'm promoting myself. I'm interested in anything that could make things better along the way, but it's not a promotional deal because I have a promotional company myself."

GL: The last fight with Bates seemed to do pretty well. What did Murad Muhammad offer you that caused you to want to work with him?

EH: "I have this guy named George that I work with and he was talking about different things, George is the guy who pretty much runs my promotional company. I told him what my whole process was and what everything that I do on the back end of the promotion. Of course, at the time Lester (Bedford) offered to do some fights around Texas to get myself back where I need to get. I was more concerned about getting my first fight back out of the way.

"I didn't want to get myself in a war for my first fight. Through my training I could see that everything was well and I was feeling real well, so I came back to George and I said you know what? We going to have to make some changes. He said what kind of changes? I said you know how we had this thing where we're going to fight every other month? He said, 'yeah.' I said we're going to have to change that because I'm doing so well that after I fight two or three people ain't nobody in the top ten going to want to fight and you can't get into the top ten unless you fight a top ten fighter. So for this next fight I'm going to have to take a top ten opponent."

GL: So which top ten opponent are you looking at for your next fight and will your next fight take place in Texas as well?

EH: "I'm fighting that whatever his name...Sinal Sam. I said we'll take him next. They said this guy is not a body, but I said I have to get myself into the position so that if nobody wants to fight me and then I fight these other people at least I can say nobody wants to fight me. But if I go around and keep on busting people up in these little fights, I said you know what, I'm the draw. I told George wait till people see the ratings for this fight and the ratings were the highest that the Best Damn Sports Show ever had. They never had a 4.4 rating. They want to partner. I realize that I've been treated a little unfairly by Showtime and HBO. It's amazing that when they talk about heavyweight fighters they don't even mention my name. You would think I did something to somebody, but I ain't did nothing. But that's their choice. When Akbar offered me this fight I said we could co-promote but I have to own the fight. We'll go in together, but this is how much I get paid as a fighter and we'll split the promotional part after that, but I'll get paid as the fighter and then get paid on the back end."

GL: When can we expect your next fight to take place?

EH: "On November 11 in Australia...Melbourne."


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