Evander Holyfield Inducted Into Boxing Hall of Fame
Former cruiserweight and heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield is headed to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The class of 2017 was announced on Tuesday, and Holyfield will join the late Johnny Tapia and Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera as new inductees.
"I’m honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and I’d just like to thank Jesus for giving me the tenacity to not quit," Holyfield told ESPN.
The class of 2017 will be enshrined in Canastota, New York on June 11.
Holyfield finished his career with a record of 44-10-2, winning his last fight in 2011. He is most famous for his two victories over Mike Tyson, from whom he won the heavyweight title in 1996 after years of anticipation. In his rematch with Tyson, "The Real Deal" famously lost a chunk of his ear after Tyson bit him and was subsequently disqualified.
Looking back on his career, which began in 1984, Holyfield is proud of his accomplishments and willingness to step into the ring with the best of the best.
"What can you say when you’ve done what I’ve done? It do speak for itself. I had a good amateur career, became the first undisputed cruiserweight champ of the world and then undisputed heavyweight champ," Holyfield said. "I fought them all. I fought everyone who was the best at my time of boxing and did real well. If you’re the best you’re going to be in the Hall of Fame."
Holyfield was an Olympic bronze medalist in 1984 before beginning his successful professional career. Other notable wins came against Hall of Famer Dwight Muhammad Qawi to win the cruiserweight title in ’86; Buster Douglas for the heavyweight title in 1990; and Hall of Fame heavyweights George Foreman and Larry Holmes.
"I fought everybody. I didn’t make up excuses on why I shouldn’t fight this guy or that guy. I fought everyone I was supposed to. I’m glad I played by the rules and became the champ. I fought and did my very best."