Holyfield-Oquendo: The final chapter right around the corner!


Holyfield-Oquendo: The final chapter right around the corner!

Evander Holyfield does not consider 'Father Time' as an opponent as he continues his boxing comeback and his quest to become the only five-time world heavyweight champion. Holyfield celebrates his 44th birthday in Houston on Thursday but it will still be a full-scale training day. The night before, Wednesday, the popular and charismatic boxer will appear on Fox's "Best Damn Sports Show Period."

"I know the Bible talks about to everything a season," Holyfield said as he continues to prepare for his November 10 12-round bout at the Alamodome in San Antonio against Latino heavyweight champ Fast Fres Oquendo. "I truly believe that my time or my season, if you prefer, is not over. When my season in boxing is finished, I will know it and I will take the appropriate action. I am my own best friend, not my best enemy and I know my body."

The Holyfield-Oquendo main event tops a brilliant undercard, featuring San Antonio hometown favorite Oscar Diaz and other shining prospects. The event is being co--promoted by Murad Muhammad's M&M Sports and Holyfield’s own promotional concern, Real Deal Events LLC. The event sells for $44.95, making it an affordable pleasure for fight fans, and it may be purchased from your local cable operator or satellite TV provider. Oquendo, by the way, will appear on Fox's BDSSP program on November 2. BDSSP is the network’s nightly sports talk show hosted by Chris Rose, alongside NBA expert John Salley, former All-Star pitcher Rob Dibble and NFL veteran Rodney Peete. The one-hour show regularly features fun interviews with top athletes, coaches, celebrities and entertainers and airs weeknights at 10:30 PM local on FSN.

Holyfield, wracked by myriad injuries in recent years, said he feels a spring in his step as he and trainer Ronnie Shields get down to the final weeks of training in Houston. Holyfield will relocate to "the Alamo City" a week before the big event.

"I honestly have never felt better physically," Holyfield said. "I do not feel like I am 19 years old but that is understandable. I do feel better than I have in many years, though. People might think I am old and creaking but I feel firm and peaking. My mission is clear to win a fifth heavyweight title and then to unify the major belts. I want to retire from boxing as the undisputed world heavyweight champion. When I do that, my job will be finished and I will turn it over to the younger generation."
Trainer Shields said he was a Doubting Thomas at first but that he only rejoined Team Holyfield when he was convinced that Evander's physical condition was what the legendary fighter claimed it is.

"Most guys at 44, yeah, they would be finished but Evander was never most guys. He is quite unique. People forget it but Evander is a guy who never abused his body from day one," Shields said. "I had some skepticism, sure, but Evander won me over by performing in the gym. I am not here just to get a paycheck. I am here because I believe in Evander and I can see him capturing a world title again." Promoter Muhammad agreed that Hoylfield’s approval of the rugged Oquendo as his second comeback opponent underlines the former champion's seriousness.

"It was Evander himself who chose Oquendo, a dangerous guy who was robbed of the title when he beat Chris Byrd and did not get the decision," Muhammad said. "I keep hearing from boxing writers who are shocked that Evander chose such a formidable foe. It seems as though eight out of 10 in the boxing media are picking Oquendo to win. I asked Evander about that and he told me, 'I see something in Oquendo.' That answer is good enough for me."

"Evander's boxing career, indeed, his whole life has been based upon his rock. His rock, through good times and bad, has been family and faith," Muhammad said. "There's a spiritual aspect to Evander's career which does make him quite different than most boxers and it has always held him in good stead. He trains with the diligence and enthusiasm of a man two decades younger."