Mike Beversluis

Friday, December 19, 2008

Yielding to temptations

Now and then I have the temptation to translate something that I read in Italian and found funny. Then I don't do it because after all it is not so funny. To be more precise, either it is of local interest, or maybe not of interest at all. But in any case I am not going to spare you this one, just for the sake of it.

Taken from the sport section of the Corriere della Sera, the most authoritative Italian newspaper. The journalist has a sharp pen.

Holyfield, punching down his own legend

46 years old and on the ring in Zurich in order to pay alimony. A match that seems fit for a circus rather than for an arena.

There are two guys that tomorrow night in Zurich will boxe in front of 12000 people and someone should really step in and split them off. The most superficial examination shows that someone will get hurt: one is 46 years old, 6 feet tall, weighs 220 pounds and has gotten to the point where his speech is slurred. The other guy is ten years younger, but most of all weighs 60 pounds more and is 7 feet tall. But just since a gentleman from Germany decided that this must be the take-off for boxing in Switzerland, then not only they will go ahead, but the bout will be valid for the Heavyweight WBA crown.

If we wanted to have a bitter laugh on it, we could say that boxing is back to its origins. That is, when bouts were organized outdoors during cow fairs, without gloves, matching up any two guys without any criterion to ensure compatibility. A way like any other to raise up some cash.

The 46 years old guy we are talking about is Evander Holyfield, and he will need the million dollar he is going to cash in order to quiet down the various wives that along his honored career he wasn't able to send ko (legally speaking). He literally escaped from the USA where no one is anymore available to grant him a medical certificate. He says criticism does not worry him, because he is stronger than ever, after all they were saying he was finished and he was able to turn the tables on Tyson. It's a pity that this happened in 1997.

Holyfield lost four out of the last eight bouts (the latest in a way that made us cringe, fourteen months ago) and doesn't even think about stopping. He can boast a suspension for steroids as well, and we fear that the German gentleman, the organizer Mr. Sauerland, will not use care for such fine details since, in his words, he "wants to put Switzerland on the world map of boxing". Evander will confront Nikolai Valuev, a Russian that became rich by appearing in circuses as a "phenomenon" and built his career with the same level of integrity that Putin would use in allowing journalists to inquire on the source of his revenues.

He is a meat mountain, without any boxing quality, his only talent being the ability to resist the impact with a tractor travelling at moderate speed - and being able to evade opponents whose hands are not too skillful. He eats six pounds of meat a day and therefore is pretty aggressive. A parking attendant in St. Petersburg knows something about his aggressiveness having received some kind rubbing (he received then compensation in court). In his free time he is an actor, he already acted in a few German movies, the last one about a boxeur that loses his memory. We hope the spectators too will be able to lose their memory, and they are not just a few, since the match has been bought in one hundred countries: still difficult to think that it has been bought under the category "boxing".

Riccardo Romani
19 dicembre 2008


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