Larry Donald vs. Evander Holyfield

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2004-11-13 : Evander Holyfield 215½ lbs lost to Larry Donald 226½ lbs by UD in round 12 of 12

  • Promoter: Don King
  • Doctors: Stephen Gelfman, Victor Khabie, Osric King
  • NABC Heavyweight Title (Vacant title)

Holyfield has little to offer in ring vs. Donald
By Dan Rafael, USA TODAY, November 14, 2004

NEW YORK — The late career of former four-time heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield took another sad hit.

Holyfield (38-8-2), a shell of the once great champion who defeated Mike Tyson (twice), Riddick Bowe and George Foreman, dropped a unanimous decision Saturday to Larry Donald (42-3-2) in Madison Square Garden. Holyfield is 2-5-2 since 1999 and has lost three in a row.

But even after being wiped out in his previous fight, an eighth-round TKO by James Toney in October 2003, Holyfield was steadfast in his quest to regain the undisputed heavyweight title. But that is a pipe dream now obvious to everyone but Holyfield.

"I've never given up on anything," he said. "I'm gonna pray on it. I felt good, better than the last time. When they raised his hand I considered maybe thinking that was it but I fought better than last time. He just landed more. I saw all the shots coming. I thought maybe I hurt him a few times but I didn't get off as much as I wanted to. But I still feel that I can rise to the occasion so why not continue to pursue the dream?"

The reason is because he was unable to do anything of consequence against a second-tier opponent. Donald landed 260 of 643 shots (40%) while Holyfield only landed 78 of 264 blows (30%).

From the outset, Holyfield had nothing. His legs betrayed him in the first round when he hit the canvas on a slip and then was wobbled with a glancing right to the head in the second round. It never got any better.

By the sixth round, he had virtually stopped throwing punches as Donald, 37, stalked forward, pounding Holyfield into the ropes, where he could nothing other than cover up.

"I feel I was the better guy but the fact is he did enough to win," Holyfield said. "In my mind I can't realistically think that it is over. But I have to look at the possibility that this is a permanent problem."

As the rounds wore, it was obvious Holyfield could only try to last the distance. He hadn't had a knockout since his 1997 rematch with Michael Moorer and even in the 12th round he was unable to muster one more burst of energy. In the end, the judges had it 119-109, 119-109 and 118-109.

"Ain't no doubt I won the fight. I won every round," said Donald, a 1992 Olympian. "He's a seasoned veteran and he can hurt you in the ring if you go to sleep. He's very sneaky with his punches but this is the first step for me to become world heavyweight champion, which is my goal."

The name will look good on Donald's resume but he did not beat the same Holyfield who began his brilliant career two days shy of 20 years ago in the same building.

On that night in 1984, he was fresh off the Olympic games turning pro with in a six-round light heavyweight win against Lionel Byarm on a card that also featured the rest of the stars from the U.S. team —- Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor, Virgil Hill, Mark Breland and Tyrell Biggs — making their pro debuts.

Holyfield is the only remaining active fighter from that group and the way he spoke, won't soon be joining them in retirement. [1]

Holyfield, 42, Has Fighting License Suspended in N.Y.
Washington Post, August 17, 2005

Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield was barred from fighting in New York by the state's athletic commission because of "poor performance and diminished skills" in recent fights.

The three-member commission decided unanimously to suspend Holyfield's boxing license indefinitely after consultations with its chief medical officer, chairman Ron Stevens said in a telephone interview.

The commission had placed Holyfield on an indefinite medical suspension in November, three days after he lost a unanimous 12-round decision to Larry Donald at Madison Square Garden. Holyfield, 42, has had two wins in his last nine fights.

While placing Holyfield on administrative suspension, the commission yesterday lifted the medical ban that prevented him from fighting in other states.

The administrative suspension means Holyfield can't be licensed to fight in New York. Other states are under no obligation to honor New York's ban, Stevens said.

Holyfield, the only four-time heavyweight champion, says he wants to win the title for a fifth time. His record is 38-8, with two draws and 25 knockouts.

Holyfield's manager, Alex Krys , told the New York Daily News that he's looking to set up a match in Europe for the fighter. [2]