Faith-Based Speaker Evander Holyfield is a retired professional boxer. Nicknamed “The Real Deal”, Evander is the only 5-time heavyweight champion of the world. With a record of 44-10, 29 of those wins knockout, Evander is widely considered to be one of the greatest boxers of all time. His most recent fight to date was a charity bought in 2015 against politician Mitt Romney to benefit Charity Vision, a nonprofit organization dedicated to administering training and equipment to doctors in poverty-stricken places around the world. Evander now packs a punch as a Motivational Speaker for a variety of events each year. A man of faith, Evander is a loving family man who revels in the opportunity to inspire others at charity events and keynote speaking engagements.
At just 21 years of age, Evander entered the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles as an amateur fighter. After dominating his way to the semi-finals, he was disqualified for a late punch which caused much controversy after the crowd deemed this ruling to be unfair. However, Evander would still take home the bronze medal and turned pro immediately after his Olympic debut.
He began his professional boxing career in the light heavyweight division. Evander proved to be too skilled and powerful to be competing in this division; he easily won his first 4 fights. He would then move up to cruiserweight, one weight class below heavyweight, where he would continue to make a name for himself in the world of professional boxing. Evander quickly won 7 decisive fights in less than a year, winning 6 by knockout. This earned him a fight for a chance at a world title against reigning World Boxing Association cruiserweight champion, Muhammad Qawi. The fight lasted a grueling 15 rounds but Evander would prevail and claim his new title belt. The fight was dubbed the fight of the 80’s as Evander won by a narrow split-decision.
After thoroughly dominating the cruiserweight class as well, Faith-Based Speaker Evander Holyfield faced his greatest challenge yet: the heavyweight division. He was deemed too small to compete as a heavyweight; however, Evander started to silence his doubters by winning his first 6 contests by knockout. The stage was set to battle heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, but by miraculous upset Tyson was defeated by Buster Douglas. In 1990, Evander made light work of Buster Douglas by knocking him out after 3 short rounds. In a 1994 fight against Michael Moorer, Evander lost by decision after tearing his rotator cuff. While receiving treatment at a hospital, doctors determined that Evander had suffered a heart attack during the fight, putting his career in serious doubts.
Due to his faith and strong will, Evander would eventually make a full comeback. He would carry the torch at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and in the same year he finally got his chance to prove to the world that he could defeat the heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson. Evander defeated Tyson by technical knockout in 11 rounds, winning the WBA heavyweight title. The fight was viewed by the media as a fluke, so in 1997 the 2 fighters would have their rematch. In what’s become known as “the bite fight”, Evander would claim victory after Tyson was disqualified for biting off a piece of Evander’s ear. Evander would continue to fight all the way until age 50, finally officially announcing retirement in 2012.
During his career, Evander created The Evander Holyfield Foundation to give impoverished youth every opportunity to succeed and become healthy, productive adults. The well-known public figure has endorsed brands like Coca-Cola, and has also made numerous TV appearances such as appearing as a contestant on the inaugural season of Dancing with the Stars.