Evander Holyfield, born October 19, 1962, is a celebrated American ex-professional boxer who fought between 1984 and 2011. He uniquely became the undisputed champion in both cruiserweight during the late 1980s and heavyweight in the early 1990s. Holyfield holds the distinction of being the sole boxer to clinch the undisputed championship in two weight categories during the three belt era. With the moniker “the Real Deal”, he’s a four-time world heavyweight champion. His achievements include securing the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles multiple times between 1990 and 2001.
Starting as an amateur, Holyfield won a bronze medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in the light heavyweight category. By 21, he turned professional, capturing his first world championship in 1986. After winning the cruiserweight title, he stepped up to heavyweight in 1988. Two years later, he overcame Buster Douglas, making him the undisputed heavyweight champion.
His reign witnessed successful defenses against renowned boxers like George Foreman and Larry Holmes. However, Riddick Bowe handed him his inaugural professional defeat in 1992. Undeterred, Holyfield reclaimed titles in a rematch and later overcame Mike Tyson in 1996, achieving his third world heavyweight title.
The late 1990s saw Holyfield square off against Lennox Lewis, leading to a controversial split draw and a subsequent defeat. In 2000, he outclassed John Ruiz, marking his fourth heavyweight title win. They faced off twice more, leading to Holyfield’s loss and then a draw.
In 2014, Holyfield hung up his gloves, leaving a legacy recognized by The Ring and BoxingScene, ranking him among the greatest punchers and as the top cruiserweight. He’s the pioneer boxer to clinch titles across three decades: the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s. Holyfield’s illustrious career got him inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
Table of Contents
Evander Holyfield Biography
In contrast to his boxing success, his personal life was unstable.
Holyfield presently lives and trains in Fayette County, Georgia, U.S. Meanwhile, he also founded “Real Deal Records”. It signed ‘Exhale’, a short-lived hit.
Evander Holyfield was born on October 19, 1962, in Atmore, Alabama, U.S. He was born to Annie Laura Holyfield and Isom Coley. His mother was a chef for a restaurant. He was the youngest of his eight siblings. Furthermore, he had a different father than the others.
Eventually, when he was four, his family moved to Atlanta, Georgia. He was raised in the Bowen Homes Housing Projects. Not to mention, the place was plagued with crime. He graduated from Fulton High School in 1980.
Evander Holyfield Family
Evander Holyfield was born on October 19, 1962, in Atmore, Alabama, U.S. His parents are Isom Coley and Annie Laura Holyfield. He is a born-again Christian. Bernard Holyfield is his older brother.
Evander is Bernard Holyfield‘s younger brother. Bernard Holyfield is a dancer and actor.
Evander Holyfield also had a younger brother, Willie Holyfield. He died from a shot during a family feud.
Evander Holyfield Spouse/Wife
- Firstly, he was married to Paulette Bowen on 17 May 1985. Later, they divorced in 1991. They have 3 children together.
- Secondly, he was married to Janice Itson on 4 October 1996. Later, they divorced in July 2000. They have 1 child together.
- Thirdly, he was married to Candi Calvana Smith on 1 July 2003. Later, they divorced in July 2012. They have 2 children together.
Evander Holyfield Children
He is the father of 11 children by six different women. He has five daughters and six sons. Evan, one of his sons, went on to fight professionally like his father. Another son, Elijah, attended the University of Georgia. He also played football in college.
His children are:
- Ebonne Esheal Holyfield
- Eden Eloise Holyfield
- Eleazar Evan Holyfield
- Eli Ethan Holyfield
- Elijah Holyfield
- Emani Holyfield
- Evan Holyfield
- Evander Holyfield Jr.
- Eve Elizabeth Holyfield
- Evette Ashley Holyfield
- Ewin Ezekiel Holyfield.
Evander Holyfield Age
He is currently 60 years old. Holyfield was born on October 19, 1962.
Evander Holyfield Height
He is 1.89 meters, or 6 feet 3 inches, in height.
Evander Holyfield Weight
He weighs 75 kg or 165 pounds.
Personal Life and Struggles
Although he earned US $513 million throughout his boxing career, he struggled financially due to money mismanagement. There were also suspicions of steroid usage against him, but he consistently denied them.
Excessive spending, several unsuccessful business enterprises, ongoing child support payments, and his three divorces, among other things, destroyed his money.
Just before that bank’s failure, Washington Mutual Bank published a court notice in June 2008. It was announced that Holyfield’s $10 million Atlanta mansion would be put up for auction. It occurred on July 1 as a result of foreclosure. The mansion was eventually purchased by rapper Rick Ross.
Toi Irvin, the mother of his then 10-year-old son, filed a lawsuit against him. It was for non-payment of two months’ child support. He paid $3,000 per month for this child.
Evander Holyfield Net Worth
His net worth is $1 million as of September 2022.
Holyfield was unable to manage his money, which was close to $250 million dollars. As a result, he may now be forced to sell his most prized possession: one of his cars.
After retiring, he went bankrupt and is now worth $1 million.
Evander Holyfield House
Washington Mutual Bank issued a court notice in June 2008, just before the bank failed. It was revealed that Holyfield’s $10 million Atlanta house will be auctioned off. It happened on July 1, 2008 due to foreclosure. Rick Ross, a rapper, subsequently bought the home.
“Evander Holyfield Highway” is the name of the road on which the house stands. The house is very big. It is 44,234 square feet in size. It features 109 rooms, including a 135-seat theatre, a bowling alley, and a dining room for 100 people.
Evander Holyfield Ear
Evander is a rival of Mike Tyson. This dispute drove him to the height of his career. Tyson bit and tore off a part of his ear during a heavyweight title match in Las Vegas on June 28, 1997. Tyson lost his boxing licence. He also had to pay a fine of $3 million.
Evander Holyfield Heart
Since he lost the heavyweight title to Moorer in April 1994, Holyfield’s heart has been a source of concern. He was diagnosed with a non- compliant left ventricle, which causes significant exhaustion. He also had a tiny hole between his heart’s upper chambers.
Later, he claimed to have an illness that affects the lungs and heart. After that, he claimed to have been treated by a faith healer. Since then, testing has revealed no evidence of any cardiac illness. All in all, he has an unusual EKG result, which is common in men of his age.
Allegations and Steroids
On February 28, 2007, Holyfield was allegedly connected to Applied Pharmacy Services. It was an Alabama pharmacy. It was under investigation for selling banned steroids and human growth hormone (HGH) to athletes. Although, he denies ever taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Holyfield’s name does not appear in any of the law enforcement papers analysed. However, a patient named “Evan Fields” drew the attention of scientists. Fields was born on October 19, 1962, the same day as Holyfield. The listed address for “Fields” was 794 Evander, Fairfield, Ga. 30213. Holyfield has a very similar address. When the phone number associated with the “Fields” prescription was dialled, Holyfield answered.
On March 10, 2007, Holyfield said publicly that he would conduct his own inquiry into the steroid allegations. It was an attempt to clear his name.
In September 2007, Holyfield’s name was again linked to HGH. It was after a raid on Signature Pharmacy in Orlando, Florida. The pharmacy was being investigated for illegally selling steroids and HGH to numerous elite sportsmen.
Evander Holyfield Career
- Evander Holyfield began boxing at the age of seven. He used to get into fights on the streets. In the early days of his boxing career, a young man named Cecil Brown defeated Evander Holyfield twice. This drove him to quit. Eventually, he gathered the courage to face him a third time and won.
- At the age of eight, Holyfield entered the “Boys & Girls Club”. Carter Morgan introduced him to professional boxing. After that, he quickly won the boys’ club boxing tournament.
- By the age of 13, he was qualified to compete in the inaugural Junior Olympics. He also won the Southeastern Regional Championship and the Best Boxer title at the age of 15.
- During 1983, Evander Holyfield represented the United States at the Pan American Games. It was held in Caracas, Venezuela. He lost the final to Pablo Romero of Cuba. As a result, Holyfield had to settle for a silver medal.
- In 1984, Evander Holyfield won the National Golden Gloves event. Basically, he competed in the light-heavyweight boxing class for the United States at the 1984 Summer Olympics. It was held in Los Angeles, California. In his division, he won a bronze medal. Although he was an amateur boxer, he had a record of 160 victories and 14 defeats by the end of 1984.
- He made his professional boxing debut on November 15, 1984. Evander Holyfield began his career in the light heavyweight class. He defeated Lionel Byarm in six rounds on his debut.
- Evander Holyfield ascended to the cruiserweight class for his July 20, 1985, battle against Tyrone Booze. He won the bout by an eight-round decision.
- In 1986, he fought for the ‘WBA Cruiserweight Championship‘ against Dwight Muhammad Qawi. He won the bout by a 15-round split decision to become a world champion. The Ring magazine named this battle “the finest cruiserweight fight of the 1980s“.
- In 1987, he defeated Ricky Parkey to win the IBF title. In the third round, Holyfield knocked Parkey out.
- Evander Holyfield fought Lineal and WBC champion Carlos De Leon in Las Vegas in 1988. The battle was over in eight rounds. This triumph spread Holyfield’s name all over the world. He upgraded to the heavyweight class after this bout.
- His first heavyweight fight was against James “Quick” Tillis, whom he knocked out in round five. In his final fight, he knocked out former heavyweight champion Pinklon Thomas in the seventh round in 1988.
- The year 1989 began with a fight against Michael Dokes, another former heavyweight champion. He won the fight with a knockout in the tenth round. The battle was dubbed the “greatest heavyweight contest of the 1980s” by The Ring magazine. During his career, Holyfield faced several fighters and won all of them, making him Ring magazine’s number one contender for the heavyweight crown for two years.
- Evander Holyfield also fought Buster Douglas for the heavyweight belt on October 25, 1990. Holyfield knocked him out in the third round. As a result, he became the world’s new undefeated undisputed heavyweight champion.
- George Foreman was the first to challenge him for the heavyweight belt. Evander won by unanimous decision. Because of the enormous age gap between the two fighters, the bout was called “battle for the ages“.
Evander Holyfield Losses List
Evander Holyfield vs Riddick Bowe
He lost the first fight of his career on November 13, 1992. It was against Riddick Bowe. Bowe became the most difficult opponent to him. Later on November 6, 1993, they fought again. Holyfield won.
Due to a fan who landed in the ring using a parachute, the rematch battle was called “Fan Man fight“. Riddick Bowe won the third and final battle, on November 4, 1995. It was known as the final chapter.
Evander Holyfield vs Michael Moore
He was defeated by Michael Moore in April 1994. Moore was a former WBO light heavyweight champion. Holyfield declared his retirement following the bout. As a matter of fact, he had a heart condition with which he was diagnosed. He did, however, come out of retirement with a victory over Ray Mercer.
Evander Holyfield vs Lennox Lewis
His biggest fight was against Lennox Lewis, in 1999. The first bout was a draw. Lennox Lewis defeated Holyfield in the rematch.
Evander Holyfield vs John Ruiz Trilogy
Holyfield faced John Ruiz in the ring for the heavyweight championship in 2000. Evander Holyfield won by unanimous decision. Later, they fought again in March 2001. John Ruiz took a 12-round decision over Holyfield. Lastly, the third encounter between them ended in a tie.
He began 2002 with a victory over Hasim Rahman. Following that, he lost three straight fights to Chris Byrd, James Toney, and Larry Donald.
Evander Holyfield vs Mike Tyson
Evander Holyfield fought boxing legend Mike Tyson for the first time in 1996. He stunned everyone by beating Mike Tyson in round 11 via technical knockout. The rematch between them was one of the most controversial fights in boxing history. Evander Holyfield’s ear was bitten off by Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson was disqualified as a result of his actions. As a result, the winner was Evander Holyfield.
- In 2006, Holyfield made a return in 2006, defeating Jeremy Bates and Fres Oquendo.
- In 2007, he defeated Vinny Maddalone and Lou Savarese.
- Then Sultan Ibragimov took him out the following year.
- Nikolai Valuev defeated him in the ‘World Heavyweight Championship‘ on December 20, 2008. His second bout was a victory against Francois Botha.
- On November 5, 2010, a no contest was announced. The fight was against Sherman “The Tank” Williams. It was due to his injuries.
- Shortly after that, he won the fight against Brian Nielsen. It was a technical knockout (in May 2011).
Evander Holyfield Retirement
- Firstly, in April 1994, Evander Holyfield announced his retirement after losing the fight against Michael Moore. It was because of the condition of his heart. However, he soon came out of retirement.
- Later, he finally retired in June 2014.
- Presently he is working as a boxing adviser to Zhang Zhilei.
Evander Holyfield vs Vitor Belfort
He lost the exhibition fight against Vitor Belfort on September 11, 2021, by a knockout. The match was billed as “No Holds Barred”.
Major Achievements of Professional Career
- Evander Holyfield is the only boxer in history to have won four World Heavyweight Championships. In fact, he fought John Ruiz in 2000 to become the first boxer in history to win the World Heavyweight Championship for the fourth time.
- He won the WBA, WBC, and IBF belts concurrently from 1990 until 1992.
Evander Holyfield Career Stats
Evander Holyfield had 57 fights, 44 wins and 10 losses. He won 29 times and lost 2 times by knockout. He also has 14 wins and 8 losses by decision. By disqualification he has only 1 win. Lastly, he has 2 wins by draws and 1 win by no contests.
Did Tyson defeat Evander Holyfield?
No, Tyson never defeated Evander Holyfield. In brief, in the rematch, Tyson bit a portion of Holyfield’s ear. It was a very famous and controversial match. It also resulted in a historic rivalry between the two parties.
Are Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson friends?
Presently, Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson are not friends. Previously, they got along well. After their historic rivalry began when Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear, they were not quite fond of each other.
How much is Evander Holyfield worth right now?
He is currently worth $1 million dollars.
How many fights did Evander Holyfield lose?
He lost 10 fights in his professional boxing career.
Who is the greatest boxer of all time?
Muhammad Ali is considered to be the greatest boxer of all times.
Who has the best boxing record ever?
Rocky Marciano has the best boxing record. He has 42 wins surprisingly, with no defeats in his entire boxing career.