Holyfield Focused, Williams Looking for Upset
Story by Brady Crytzer
Photos by Chris Cozzone
On Saturday, January 22nd future Hall of Fame inductee Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield returns to action when he takes on Sherman “Tank” Williams live on pay-per-view. Hosted by the world famous Greenbrier Resort in White Sulfur Springs, WV, the event titled “Redemption in America” will feature the heavyweight showdown atop an exciting undercard of promising newcomers. Though the two fighters will not meet until Saturday night, the pair of experienced veterans hosted a press conference on Monday to address the media.
Though he has had two world title fights in the last three years, mainstream media outlets still treat the former undisputed and current WBF world heavyweight champion as an outcast. Holyfield, hungry to prove that despite being in his late 40’s he is still a legitimate heavyweight threat, still considers himself to be “The Real Deal.”
“I’m as good at 48 as I was at 38, or even 28,” Holyfield said. “You’re only as good as the people that you fight. You need to take chances to be the very best”
Across from the future Hall of Famer on Saturday night will be perennial workhorse Sherman “Tank” Williams. Known for being a gatekeeper for the elite of heavyweight division, “Tank” too views this as his chance to earn himself a title shot.
“Make no mistake about it, I’m no push over,” Williams said. “We have a saying in the Islands, ‘pressure bursts pipes.’ I am physically prepared, I am mentally prepared, and I believe that I am fully equipped. I’ve got what it takes to put on a good fight.”
At the age of 48 years old, Holyfield has no reservations about sharing his secrets of longevity. He claims that a potent mixture of experience, discipline, and faith will allow him to fight for many more years and possibly attain a record fifth world title.
“I can fight because of my foundation,” Holyfield said. “I made the Olympic team and won a Bronze Medal. As a professional I fought everybody; I believe in the Word of God and I believe that I can still perform. It’s more beneficial for me to fight often. At my age my body feels better when I’m training because I don’t spar as much as I used to. ”
"I’d like to fight three times per year.”
It’s an odd request for a living legend to fight as often as Holyfield would like to, but a glance at his 2011 dance card so far makes one thing that he is getting exactly what he’s after. Following his bout with Williams on January 22nd in West Virginia, Holyfield has another showdown scheduled with Brian Steffan Nielsen in Copenhagen, Germany just three weeks later.
“When I took the fight with Nielsen I was available,” Holyfield explained. “This fight had been postponed, so it was an easy decision to take the fight in Germany. It has been difficult over the last few months. This fight was originally scheduled to happen five months ago and I’d like to thank Sherman for not getting frustrated.”
“This is boxing and things like this happen”
Many pundits view Williams as simply another opponent for Holyfield, but the native of Freeport, Bahamas view this opportunity very differently.
“Most naysayers are the same,” Williams explained. “Many of these people have never even been in a school yard fight, so I don’t listen to them. Styles make fights and every fighter brings different things to the table. I believe I can win this fight.”
Rick Lazes of ARK Promotions, described his thought process when selecting such a unique location like the Greenbrier Resort. Open for over 200 years, the historic Resort has hosted dozens of US Presidents, but never a professional boxing match.
“We picked the Greenbrier because we wanted a special location,” Lazes explained. “This is a one of a kind event and we would like to see traditional boxing fans as well as new fans. This event will not only be an action packed card, but an evening of exciting entertainment.”
As far as the location goes, challenger Sherman Williams enjoys the chance, but admits there is no place like home.
“I’ve fought in West Virginia before, but I’d rather be soaking up the sun in the Bahamas on a fishing boat.”