Professional Boxer; Former Undisputed World Champion
Evander Holyfield was born on October 19, 1962 in Atmore, Alabama. Often referred to as “the Real Deal,” Holyfield is known for being a four-time world heavyweight champion. Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, he took boxing lessons as a child. He competed as amateur in the Golden Gloves competitions in the early 1980s. After winning…
Evander Holyfield was born on October 19, 1962 in Atmore, Alabama. Often referred to as “the Real Deal,” Holyfield is known for being a four-time world heavyweight champion. Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, he took boxing lessons as a child. He competed as amateur in the Golden Gloves competitions in the early 1980s.
After winning a national Golden Gloves Championship in 1984, Holyfield made the U.S. Olympic team. Proud to represent his country at the 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles, he experienced a great disappointment in the ring. He was disqualified during a semifinal match against Kevin Barry of New Zealand for hitting his opponent after a break. Many who witnessed the fight have disputed the referee’s call. Despite this personal setback, Holyfield did receive the bronze medal.
After the Olympics, Holyfield turned professional and first fought in the junior heavyweight and cruiserweight classes. He won the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) World Cruiserweight title in 1986 by defeating the reigning champion Dwight Qwai. Holyfield trained hard to become big enough and strong enough to compete as a heavyweight fighter. In 1990, he became the world heavyweight champion, defeating James “Buster” Douglas, the holder of the WBA, International Boxing Federation (IBF), and World Boxing Council (WBC) championship titles. Holyfield took out Douglas in only seven minutes.
Holyfield’s intense rivalry with boxer Riddick Bowe began in the early 1990s: He suffered a big defeat to Bowe in 1992, losing his title. It was his first loss in 29 professional fights. After briefly contemplating retirement, Holyfield was back in the ring and anxious to reclaim his title. He did just that when he got his rematch with Bowe in 1993, winning by decision. Holyfield didn’t hold on to his title for too long. The next year Michael Moorer defeated him by decision.
Health problems sidelined the famous boxer for a time, but he returned to the ring and eventually fought one of the most notorious boxers in history, Mike Tyson. Holyfield beat Tyson in their first encounter in 1996, winning the WBA championship. No one could have imagined what happened in their next fight, however. During the bout, Tyson twice bit Holyfield’s ear, the second time taking a piece out of Holyfield’s ear. Tyson was disqualified, and his odd behavior in the ring became international news. Holyfield, a deeply religious man, forgave his opponent. Several months after this incident, Holyfield took back his IBF title from Michael Moore by knocking him out in the eight round, making it his third separate title victory. In 1999, Holyfield took on another legendary fighter Lennox Lewis, the holder of the WBC heavyweight title. The first match between these two heavy hitters ended in a draw, but Lewis emerged victorious in a rematch later that same year. Holyfield went on to win his fourth championship in 2000, unseating the WBA champion John Ruiz. This victory was short-lived, however. Ruiz beat Holyfield in a rematch the next year.
Holyfield continues to box. Proving that he is still a contender, he beat Jeremy Bates by a knockout in August 2006—his first fight in nearly two years. With his boxing career slowing down, Holyfield has been exploring other business opportunities. He attracted a lot of attention for his footwork, not his punches, appearing as a contestant in 2005 on Dancing with the Stars, the television competition that teams up celebrities with professional dancers.
Off stage and out the ring, Holyfield devotes some of his time to helping young people. The Holyfield Foundation supports numerous programs for inner-city children. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
A Conversation With Evander Holyfield
Evander Holyfield Interview
Legendary!!! Evander Holyfield relives epic fights with Mike Tyson, Buster Douglas and Riddick Bowe
1 HOUR OR LESS