Former heavyweight champion, Evander Holyfield has arrived Lagos ahead of his ‘mouth-watering’ bout with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The ‘Rhumbles in Lagos”, a charity fight, is part of the ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the creation of Lagos State.
It will take place at the Landmark Event Centre in Victoria Island.
Tinubu has been warming up for the fight to be refereed by Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka.
Tinubu in his endorsement of the BAT vs Holyfield bout, said: “I can’t wait to knock Evander down. I’m the real champion of the world!’’
Holyfield was at the Lagos State House today to see Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who promised collaboration with the Evander Holyfield Foundation and its ideals to promote youth engagements through sports.
“Lagos welcomes a 4-time world heavyweight champion, Evander Holyfield. An icon. A Champion. Our Pride”, Ambode tweeted.
Holyfield said his foundation would donate health equipment worth $3million to the Lagos State Government.
Holyfield said that the gesture was part of his strategy of giving back to the society.
He noted that giving back to the society would help children who have interest in sports to actualise their dreams as he was able to do.
Holyfield said his visit was to give kids the basic knowledge in boxing and inspire them on how to maintain a winning attitude.
Holyfield, who narrated how his mother supported his boxing career, said his mother often advised him to hold on to what he was good at and never quit even when the tide was not good.
“I held on to those words and they assisted me in becoming world heavyweight champion today. I believe that the kids should be inspired just like my mother inspired me to hold on tenaciously to those things I am good at.”
Holyfield had competed from 1984 to 2011 and reigned as the undisputed champion in both the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions, being the first and to date only boxer in history to do so.
“The Real Deal” is the only four-time world heavyweight champion, having held the WBA, WBC, IBF, and lineal titles from 1990 to 1992, and the WBA, IBF, and lineal titles again from 1993 to 1994.
He also held the WBA title from 1996 to 1999, the IBF title from 1997 to 1999, and the WBA title for a fourth time from 2000 to 2001.
Holyfield won a 1997 rematch against Mike Tyson, which saw the latter disqualified in round three for biting the ears of Holyfield.
During this reign as champion, he also avenged his loss to Michael Moorer and reclaimed the IBF title.
In 1999 he faced Lennox Lewis in a unification fight for the undisputed WBA, WBC, IBF, and lineal titles, which ended in a controversial split draw.
Holyfield was defeated in a rematch eight months later.
The following year, he defeated John Ruiz for the vacant WBA title, becoming the first boxer in history to win a version of the heavyweight title four times.
Holyfield lost a rematch against Ruiz seven months later and faced him for the third time in a draw.
Holyfield retired in 2014, and is ranked number 77 on The Ring’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.
Boxing Scene also ranked him the greatest cruiser weight of all time.