Alright, here are my somewhat scrambled thoughts regarding Holyfield-Williams NC3:
Holyfield is an undisputed, first ballot Hall of Famer. He is an All Time Great, a ring legend, and a guy with controversy hanging over him. But what I saw tonight is a former fighter who obviously needs to retire right now.
The way I'll remember Holyfield is simple: I'll remember him as "the guy who was going to scalp Tyson." When he butchered Quawi and DeLeon in a row and then announced his move to heavyweight, we all knew Holy was going to hand Mike Tyson's style a beating, if they ever matched up. Unfortunately, Douglas stepped in to do it first, and so their ultimate meeting was sort of a letdown. But his lateral movement, quick right hands and bullhorn rushes were a huge antidote to a decade full of slow, inept target practice for Holmes, Witherspoon and Tyson.
Holyfield at 48 is a ghost of that guy, even more so than Joe Louis was late in his career. But, unlike Louis, there doesn't seem to be a marketable fight that could actually force him to retire. I sometimes get worried that some genius will come up with "Haye-Holyfield: Battle of the Ex-Cruisers," but barring that, I get the feeling it will be more like Holyfield-Williams, Holyfield-Botha, Holyfield-Nielsen from here out. I don't think there's an end in sight, either. Boxing's not like tennis or golf. He's not thinking "I'll retire at 50, because that will be a milestone." Evander isn't thinking about retiring at all. He's addicted to this, and doesn't think he can do anything else.
Even though he seemed to at least resemble a legit fighter tonight, it's very tough seeing him in there. He moves late, throws late, and, when he gets hit, he even flinches late. It's like he's boxing two seconds in the past, even against so-so guys, and it gets worse with each fight. I'm not one to criticize how someone makes their money. If he can keep doing it, and thinks he needs to, there's nothing to be said about it. Nobody is going to protest Holyfield fighting Tank Williams or Brian Nielsen. But if Evander Holyfield ever gets another shot at a heavyweight title, it will be a very horrible and sad thing, and whoever promotes it, manages it or accepts the fight should be barred from the Hall of Fame, period.