Evander Holyfield is now a boxing promoter. A legendary champion – one of the best inside the ring – is now trying to succeed outside the four ropes as a boxing promoter.
It is not easy, and history shows few boxers have had success in their efforts as promoters.
What are the keys of his success?
First, the fighter must have a solid team as partners. A champion like Holyfield is used to having an entourage at his service and it is easy to get used to being praised and glorified, but that doesn’t happen when the champ becomes a promoter.
Holyfield has made the right decision and has sensational, knowledgeable boxing people in his company, Sal Musumeci and Eric Bentley, as leaders of the group.
Second, the promoter must have a plan and take the necessary time to implement its. He must not go out and sign a large group of fighters just to make the first impression with the usual claim of being “the future of boxing promotions.”
Holyfield Promotions is concentrating on building talent – young fighters who can be guaranteed continuous activity in the ring.
Third, promote boxing. It simple to say, but in today’s world, difficult to do. Promoting is much different from simply operating an event by booking flights and hotels, making a press conference and weigh-in, and filling the boxes on the checklist. Holyfield has gone out to promote boxing.
He has gone back to basics and is going out on the road to promote, create expectations, offer interesting concepts, and get everyone involved.
Evander will take the first step to make my father’s dream become a reality. He is promoting a world tournament of professional boxing – eight fighters in the welterweight division from eight different countries. It is an attractive concept with innovative rules, safety and health as a priority, and excellent matchmaking.
This single-elimination tournament will honor my father’s legacy and has been named after him: “Jose Sulaiman World Invitational.” This gesture will never be forgotten by the WBC and the Sulaiman family.
The first event will happen in Louisville, Kentucky, the home of the greatest, Muhammad Ali, at the YUM center. A capacity crowd is expected, and the event will feature the following matches:
Felix Diaz (19-2-0, 9 KOs) of Santa Domingo, D.R. will clash with Derrieck Cuevas (24- 6- 1, 12 KOs) of Santa Barbara, California.
Chris Van Heerden (25-2-1, 12 KOs) of Johannesburg, South Africa, faces TIMO SCHWARZKOPF, (18-1-0, 10 KOs) of Stuttgart, Germany.
Fredrick Lawson (26-1-0, 21 KOs) of Accra, Ghana, battles Baishanbo Nasiywula (13-1-1, 6 KOs), of Urumqi, China.
Paddy Gallagher (13-3-0, 8 KOs) of Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, faces Brad Solomon (27-1-0, 9 KOs), of Douglasville, Georgia.