Evan Holyfield, 19, gears up for amateur tournament, talks living up to famous father
A famous name will be showcased this weekend when the inaugural Sugar Bert Boxing Title Belt National Championships kick-off in Kissimmee, Florida on Saturday.
Among the competitors at the three-day finals will be 19 year-old Evan Holyfield, son of the legendary Evander, former world cruiserweight and heavyweight champion of the world.
With the pressure to live up to the famous name he inherited, Evan has ambitions of his own and aims to win Golden Gloves championships and compete at the Olympics, just like his father did. All being well, Holyfield’s long-term goal is to eventually make his professional bow and become a multi-weight world title holder to continue the family tradition.
As his first bout of the tournament approaches, Evan attempted to play down the obvious comparisons to one of the greatest top division operators of the last 25 years.
“When I am in the ring, I just fight for myself,” Evan told The Orlando Sentinel.
“It is not really fighting for a name. I am just fighting for what I do and what I want. I guess when [the name] is Holyfield, I can’t get punked out. I can’t let that happen.’
“People say I fight like him, but I don’t see it. I guess when you want to compare us, we are both aggressive. Once we get hit, we just get aggressive. I have pretty much the same lateral movement, but I may move more.”
Asked about his desire to become a fighter and follow in his dad’s footsteps, Evan replied: “Probably when I was 12, 13, I was just tired of playing team sports. When the team loses, they always want to blame somebody. At some point, I wanted to put matters into my own hands.”
There’s certainly a lot to live up to for the teenager, who is under no illusions about the challenge that awaits him in the future.
“It is going to be challenging, because my dad is one of the greats,” Evan said.
“Boxing has taught me a lot, self-discipline and integrity. You can always do good when people are watching you, but what matters most is what you are doing when people aren’t looking,” he added.