I was in 8th grade, staying over at my buddy's house. I don't know if my Dad ordered the fight that night, he usually did, but my buddy's Dad did. It was coincidence really.I had no intention of watching it, we just happened to walk down the stairs while the indestructible Iron Mike was making his ring entrance. We stayed to watch the inevitable car crash, the ten people in the room knew Holyfield didn't have a chance.
Then, Real Deal roared again.
Evander is one of my favorite athletes of all time. He embodied the line on his trunks: "WARRIOR". He wasn't a showman, he had no "Neon" to him, no raging anger, but he knew that he could step in and lay everything on the table. Everything he had on any night would be on full display, he left nothing in the tank...still doesn't.
But now he's a side-show, a painful, easy cliche about the sport. I can't watch it. I imagine some of you can't either.
I guess the point is that I try to remember Holyfield for what he was. I wish he would stop, but the IRS has made it very clear why he can't. I'm not sure he would quit even if that lien wasn't hanging over his head.
Even today, as a weary, brutally punch-drunk wash-up getting ready again, I'll never forget that image of him wearing out Tyson, giving us that goofy, half-sheepish smile afterwards, like 'I knew this was gonna happen'.