Raw Deal Holyfield

All the outrage over Barry Bonds or Mark McGuire, all the disbelief and scorn heaped upon Roger Clements, over what? Some records that only a few poindexters, who have never actually played baseball because every time they've attempted to go outside in the sun their nose bleeds, obsess over.

Where is that same outrage or senate hearings for men involved in sport's noblest endeavor?

When a pitcher on steroids is pitching against a batter on steroids, where is the victim? As opposed to when a boxer enters the ring for hand-to-hand combat in a lab-created suite of armor from his feet to his neck and has added 20 pounds of torque to his punches.

The victims in boxing are not only obvious but immediate. The opponent's health, the opponent's career, the opponent's love for the sport. Any one of these, at least deserves equal outrage as a homerun record. Evander Holyfield and his numerous pharmacists has ended more careers than over-drinking at a company Christmas party. And nobody, nobody seems to care.

Look at the list of names who have never been the same after fighting Holyfield. The men whose body or mind, or body and mind was exhausted after experiencing the kind of pace, punishment and pressure that only the greatest specimens could endure, once.

And no, Holyfield didn't just catch these fighters right before their expiration date. Their respective ages don't support that perspective, and neither does the picture Holyfield's career has painted.

The first case study took place in 1987. Steroids were not a major part of the mainstream vernacular, but it was a major part of sports. Early that year, Brian Bosworth, college football's best linebacker, on one of the best teams, was suspended for a game for steroid use. It was rampant in and around football. So, it is logical that steroids would have also made it into boxing by that time.

Later that same year, a fighter who was considered fast, but lacked the size and power for a top-shelf cruiserweight had his biggest fight. At the time, he was thought to be more suitable to the Olympic style of boxing, but had done enough to earn a shot at Dwight Braxton (Dwight Muhammad Qawi). Holyfield took Qawi and his Hall of Fame resume over the edge of human limits in Ring Magazine's Best Cruiserweight Bout of the 80's.

It was basically the end of Qawi. He did not have any significant wins after being brought to such a brutal place for 15 rounds. A place human beings just aren't designed to withstand, but the human spirit can take an unwilling body amazing places, once.
At this point Holyfield has the best shoulders in sports. Maybe the best body in boxing. In hindsight Holyfield's steroid involvement at this time seems at least probable.

In 1989 that undersized, light-hitting cruiserweight moved up to heavyweight and drug a game Michael Dokes, who was considered an extremely talented fighter, into a fight that the Ring Magazine labeled the Best Heavyweight fight of the 80's. Dokes was never considered much after that.

Dokes was the bigger man and no joke. That to some Dokes is now considered a punchline, illustrates how much was taken out of him during that Holyfield war. All Dokes' talent and potential never surfaced again.
By this time, there is no question Holyfield has the must muscular body in boxing, by far. In hindsight... steroids now seem at least very probable.

In 1992 against a giant and fast, heavy-handed Riddick Bowe, Holyfield was able to absorb and dish out in equal parts Ring Magazine's Round of the Year. Bowe carried one-punch knockout power and landed that one punch to Holyfield at least every other round.

At the time, Bowe had HOF tools and great stamina for a man his size. He was put through two more epics with Holyfield where he won 1 more of the battles, but lost the war. It was the last decent win Bowe ever had. His career ended that night. The too small for cruiserweight, went power-for-power with one of the most powerful heavyweights of the time.
By now Evander had the best body in all of sports. He looked more like a comic book superhero than a well-trained athlete. In hindsight...come on.

Mike Tyson lost his undefeated record against Buster Douglas, but he lost his reputation and heart against Holyfield. Evander roughed up the most feared man in boxing. Mike was over after those fights. He didn't have any big wins after absorbing Holyfield's motor.

Mike's spirit got left at the feet of Evander Holyfield. Tyson got overwhelmed and could never replace what he lost versus Holyfield.
By now Evander has the best body in the history of boxing and no one has a better one in all of sports. In hindsight...hindsight was not even needed by this time.

Holyfield's growth coincided with the growth of steroids. As mentioned, he was considered a fast, but light-punching light heavyweight and the same at cruiserweight. His move was taken lightly because he didn't carry a punch at the lighter classes. But somewhere he found power at heavy.

His rebirth coincided with the birth of HGH. While being examined for the heart condition that stalled his career in 1994, it was determined the abnormality was consistant with that of a chronic HGH user.

Yes, this has all been conjecture. But it would also be unreasonable to connect all the dots and not come up with the same clear picture. Sure each dot could be attacked and lessened by raising similar situations, but as a whole, there is just too much circumstantial evidence for a reasonable person not to believe Holyfield used performance enhancing drugs and it costed men their careers.

Now the paper trail:

He was linked to a pharmacy service in Alabama that was under investigation for supplying steroids and HGH. No, there was not a patient named Evander Holyfield, but there was one named, Evan Fields, who had the same birthdate as Evander.

Luckily for Evander the address associated with account was also different: 794 Evander, Fairfield, Ga. 30213. And 794 Evander Holyfield Highway Fairburn, GA 30213 is the address listed for Holyfield memorabilia. So, to clear up any confusions investigators called the phone listed on the account, and Evander answered...oops.

Then Holyfield was also linked to a different pharmacy in Orlando, FL that is under investigation guessed it, supplying steriods and HGH to professional athletes.

There is no question that Evander Holyfield has abused performance enhancing drugs while abusing opponents. He extended his career and paychecks at the expense of another man's career. He became a career ender.

Maybe it was due to the amount of punishment Holyfield was able to absorb and dish out that sapped his opponents' physical ability to fight again. Or maybe a man who has gotten into the best shape of his career, trained as hard as possible, fights the fight of his life against a smaller man and can't hurt him, and knows he couldn't have given one ounce more, just can't mentally bring himself to get up for a fight again.

The question is not if, but where and why. Not where did he shoot up, not why did he cheat. That's irrelevant. It's where is the outrage, and why don't people seem to care? This is not about some numbers in a book nobody looks at, this is about the lives of men. The seediest and darkest part of the Holyfield story may not even be the careers he took. It may be the reasons that lie behind America's apathy.

<strong><font color="red">FanPosts are user-created content written by community members of Bad Left Hook, and are generally not the work of our editors. <em>Please do not source FanPosts as the work of Bad Left Hook</em>.</font></strong>

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bad Left Hook

You must be a member of Bad Left Hook to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bad Left Hook. You should read them.

Join Bad Left Hook

You must be a member of Bad Left Hook to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bad Left Hook. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.