Evander Holyfield Bio
Evander Holyfield is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1984 to 2011. He reigned as the undisputed champion at cruiserweight in the late 1980s and at heavyweight in the early 1990s and remains the only boxer in history to win the undisputed championship in two weight classes.
Evander Holyfield Age/Height
Evander was born on October 19, 1962, and is 56 years old yet to turn 57 on October 19th this year 2019, He is 6feet 2.5inch tall.
Evander Holyfield Family
Evander Holyfield was born in Atmore, Alabama and raised in a low-income Atlanta suburb of Sugar Hill. Holyfield was born as the youngest of 9 children to a different father who was hardly ever in the picture.
“I didn’t have a father but I had the right momma. She could have quit at any time – but she was the real ‘Real Deal’. She used to say ‘Son, don’t be a coward – a coward dies a thousand times but a man dies once,’ the boxing icon one said of his mother Annie Holyfield who was a cook in a restaurant.
Holyfield said he inherited his athletic genes from his mom who was a runner and exceptional skater. Holyfield’s mom died in 1996 as a result of injuries inflicted from a car accident.
Evander Holyfield Wives/Divorce
His first wife was Paulette Bowen, they married in 1985-1991. He then married Janice Itson in 1996-2000. Evander married his third wife Candi Calvana Smith in 2003 but they separated in 2012.
Evander Holyfield Children
His 11 children include; Ein Ezekiel Holyfield, Elijah Esaias Holyfield, Evette Ashley Holyfield, Eleazar Evan Holyfield, Eli Ethan Holyfield, Elijah Jedidiah Holyfield, Eden Eloise Holyfield, Eve Elizabeth Holyfield, Evander Holyfield Jr., Ebonne Eshel Holyfield, and Emani Winter Holyfield.Evander Holyfield
Two of Evander’s sons have already begun athletic careers with plans to go professional. Taking after Evander is Evan who hopes to go to the Olympics and snap a boing medal just like dad.
His other son Elijah Holyfield chose a different sport – football which happens to be Holyfield’s, first love. Elijah plays as a running back for his varsity team Georgia Bulldogs.
Evander Holyfield Career
At a very tender age, Evander took interest in boxing and began boxing on the streets. However, he almost quit when a white boy named Cecil Brown in his street beat him twice. However, Evan found the courage to fight him again and, the third time was the charm.
Holyfield at 15 became the Southeastern Regional Champion and won the tournament as well as the Best Boxer Award. At the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela, Holyfield won the silver medal after losing to Cuba’s Pablo Romero.
In 1984, Holyfield won the bronze medal at the Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles and by the end of the year, he went pro with his boxing starting in the light heavyweight division. He moved to cruiserweight in 1985 and then to heavyweight in 1988.
Evander beat Buster Douglas in 1990 to claim the undisputed WBA, WBC, IBF heavyweight titles. Holyfield defended his title fight against George Foreman and Larry Holmes. He suffered his first loss in 1992 after losing to Riddick Bowe.
Holyfield regained his title in another bout against Bowe in 1993. After losing the title to Michael Moorer in 1994, Evander regained it again in 1996 beating Mike Tyson. He became the first boxer since Muhammad Ali to snap the heavyweight award three times.
Holyfield won his rematch against Tyson in 1997. The match labeled the bite fight saw Tyson bit off Evander’s ears in the third round. After losing to Lennox Lewis in 1999, Evander won the WBA heavyweight title in the new millennium defeating John Ruiz. Thanks to Holyfield’s fame as a boxer, he was featured in a number of films including the Christmas special of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1990, Summer of Sam, Arthur and more.
Evander Holyfield Ear
From the Vault: Mike Tyson bites Evander Holyfield in both ears
Why did you do it, Mike? “Because I’m crazy a little bit and was bleeding all over the place.” “I was frustrated.” “I was angry that he was butting my head.” “I just snapped and reacted the way many athletes have done.” “I just wanted to kill him.” “I don’t remember much because I was so enraged.”
“I wanted to inflict so much pain on him.” “I was pissed off that he was such a great fighter.” “I just wanted to beat him up.” “I was an undisciplined soldier and lost my composure.” “I was in a very competitive mood and wanted so desperately to beat him for my own self-aggrandizement.” “I was just upset.”
Over the last 20 years, Mike Tyson has given a variety of answers when asked why he bit Evander Holyfield’s ears – both of them – when the pair met at the MGM Grand for a heavyweight title fight on 28 June 1997.
Straight after the fight, which was stopped towards the end of the third round, Tyson was in no mood for contrition. “Listen. Holyfield is not the tough warrior everyone says he is. He got a nick on his ear and he quit,” said Tyson as he cast his aggression as an act of self-defense.
“This is my career. I’ve got children to raise and this guy keeps butting me, trying to cut me and get me stopped on cuts. I’ve got to retaliate. What else could I do? He didn’t want to fight. I’m ready to fight right now. Regardless of what I did, he’s been butting me for two fights. I got one eye. He’s not impaired. He’s got ears. I’ve got to go home and my kids will be scared of me. Look at me, look at me, look at me!”
Tyson had already been given two chances to fight that night – when the first bell rang and when referee Mills Lane allowed the contest to continue after he had chewed off a chunk of Holyfield’s right ear and spat it on to the canvas – so his victim act fell on deaf ears, so to speak. “Bullshit,” said Lane.
“The butt was an accidental butt. How many times do you want him to get a bit? There’s a goddamn limit to everything, including bites.” Lane had been reluctant to stop the fight but decided enough was enough. “One bite is bad enough, two bites is dessert.”
Sympathy was in short supply for Tyson and, after he went home and calmed down a bit, he knew it. “I shouldn’t have done that,” he told his wife Monica. “My fans are going to hate me.” She reassured him, telling him that everybody makes mistakes. Soothed by those comforting words, Tyson smoked some weed, drank some liquor and went to sleep.
Back at the MGM, Holyfield was offering up a prayer of forgiveness for his disqualified opponent. “Down in my locker room there were several dozen people in various states of panic, fear, and outrage,” he remembers in his autobiography. Holyfield asked them to link hands so he could say a word to the Lord. “The first thing I did was wave them all to silence and lead a quiet prayer, in which I forgave Mike.”
The prayer meeting was interrupted when MGM Grand employee Mitch Libonati rattled on the dressing room door. “I have something he probably wants,” said Libonati as he held up a plastic bag that contained the wedge of ear Tyson had gobbed on to the ring. Holyfield was taken to the hospital, but the little lump of the ear was lost in the ambulance ride. Not to worry.
The plastic surgeons did a fine job and, in any case, Tyson later returned the missing piece of the ear in a FootLocker advert – and that wasn’t even the first time the pair had poked fun at the story in the name of the business.
It wasn’t so funny at the time though. Barry McGuigan summed up the mood of the boxing world – and the world at large – when he declared Tyson’s actions “despicable”, “abominable”, “totally malicious” and those of an “a spoilt child”. That other great boxing champion, Sylvester Stallone, chipped in from ringside with the line of the night: “Boxers should eat before they fight.”
The recently re-elected President Clinton had time to give a view: “I was horrified by it and I think the American people should be.” And Tyson recalls Letterman and Leno making jokes about how he would be fighting on Pay-per-chew and winning the Fighter of the Ear award.
As the news reverberated around the world and some of the press called for Tyson to be banned for life, the man himself wondered why there was such a commotion. “I had no idea what had happened would become such an international incident,” he recalls in his autobiography, which, in fairness, is full of stories that make ear-nibbling sound tame.
“My whole life’s been like that. I say or do something I think is small but the whole world thinks it’s big. Maybe I should have thought about how things will affect me in posterity but I don’t think like that.” It’s hard to know what Tyson really thinks about the bite. The day before the fight he called himself “a professional who doesn’t get emotionally involved with anything.”
But he also famously pointed out that “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Two days after the fight he gathered the media and offered an apology “to the world, my family and to the Nevada Athletic Commission.” “I couldn’t tell you why I acted exactly as I did,” he said as he asked for forgiveness and another chance.
But Tyson later admitted he was just “going through the motions” in that speech to appease Don King, who was worried the money train had come flying off the tracks. Perhaps the truth only really came out when Tyson spoke to Oprah Winfrey about the fight 12 years later.
When Oprah asked him about his sham apology, Tyson admitted that he hadn’t regretted the bite at the time and that he hadn’t been sincere when he delivered his statement to the world. But he said the time had come to say sorry to Holyfield face-to-face. Oprah obliged and set up a show with the two boxers the following week. How’s that for a win-win.
“What do you want to say to him?” she asked Tyson as he sat beside Holyfield, looking more nervous than he ever did in the ring. Tyson went for it: “This is a beautiful guy. Me and this guy basically both come from the sewerage and we watched each other grow and become established and esteemed fighters. And I just want you to know that it’s been a pleasure passing through life and being acquainted with you.”
Tyson reached out to Holyfield, who shook his hand, smiled, nodded gently and said: “OK.”
Evander Holyfield Record
He retired in 2014 with a career record of 44 wins (29 by knockout), 10 losses, and 2 draws. Holyfield was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2017.
Evander Holyfield Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield: ‘The Bite Fight’ more than twenty years on
Twenty-two years ago today, Mike Tyson bit off more than he could chew when he twice sunk his teeth into Evander Holyfield’s ears.
It was a disgraceful and shocking act that left the world watching in disbelief; amid uncontrollable rage, Tyson bit a chunk out of Holyfield’s right ear during their 1997 bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. He was disqualified at the end of the third round.
Lennox Lewis, the WBC world heavyweight champion, feared he would never fight Tyson after what became known as ‘The Bite Fight’. “One hundred percent, at the time I thought this man Tyson is a mad man and I will never fight him now,” Lewis told ESPN.
Despite his stint in prison and a stuttering career, Tyson’s rematch with Holyfield was still a huge event that created global interest. It remains one of the most talked-about fights in boxing history and set a then-new record for revenue ($100 million).
Tyson, who was sent to prison in 1992 and then resumed his career three years later, had lost the WBA world heavyweight title in a shock 11th round stoppage to Holyfield in November 1996, yet started the rematch a betting favorite. But Tyson, then 31, quickly unraveled after feeling enraged by what he felt was Holyfield’s deliberate headbutts in the second round.
Referee Mills Lane considered it a clash of heads that caused the cut above Tyson’s right eye — which did nothing to calm ‘Iron Mike’. “He butted me in the second round, and he looked at me and butted me again,” said Tyson at the time. “No one deducted points. This is my career. What am I supposed to do? I’ve got children to raise. He kept butting me.”
The self-proclaimed ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ then took matters into his own hands in the third round as he sank his teeth into the top of Holyfield’s right ear. Holyfield instantly recoiled, jumped up in pain while Tyson spat a piece of his opponent’s ear to the canvas.
“I thought my ear had fallen off,” said Holyfield after the fight. “Look at the bite. I’m missing part of my ear. I just couldn’t believe it they have rules and regulations for this.” The saying “once bitten, twice shy” did not apply to Holyfield on a night that defied belief as the two-weight world champion fought on after a four-minute delay with blood streaming from his chewed ear.
Lane deducted two points from Tyson but that did not deter him from biting Holyfield’s left ear before the end of the third round. Tyson had left his stool with illegal intentions at the start of the third and he spat out his gumshield in order to prepare for the attack, leaving Lane with no alternative.
At the end of the third round, Lane disqualified Tyson who then tried to get at Holyfield and his corner amid ugly scenes of pushing and shoving. Tyson also took a swing at a police officer.
Evander Holyfield Net Worth
Evander is said to have made at least $513 million from his boxing career, but sadly, the boxer faced a lot of financial difficulties which forced him to prolong his career so he could pay off debts which were dominated by alimony and child support payments. Evander Holyfield’s net worth is now estimated at $500,000.