Boxing Legend: When Will Evander Holyfield Retire?

Michael Evans@@MikeEvansMMACorrespondent IIIMay 17, 2011

LAS VEGAS - APRIL 03:  Boxer Evander Holyfield appears during an undercard of the Bernard Hopkins-Roy Jones Jr. fight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center April 3, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Holyfield will face Francois Botha in a heavyweight fight on April 10, 2010 in Las Vegas.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield has done amazing things in his boxing career. He has been atop of every division he has ever competed in. After being snubbed at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Holyfield began a boxing career at about the same time as Mike Tyson. The two men had very different paths to the top. Tyson became the biggest draw in boxing history and Holyfield dominated the divisions just below heavyweight. 

In a classic boxing war in 1986, Holyfield won a 15 round decision over Muhammad Qawi to capture the WBA world cruiserweight title. He would go on to become the only undefeated, undisputed cruiserweight boxing champion in the division's history. 

In 1990, Evander blitzed James "Buster" Douglas inside of three rounds to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. In a fight of epic proportions that had the feeling of Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali's first encounter leading up to it, Tyson was forced to withdraw due to an injury and was indicted and put in prison not long after. Years later, Evander would win both of their matchups. The second would be one of the most bizarre in one of the most peculiar sports in the history of the world.

Holyfield would go on to win some form of the heavyweight title five times. A fighter with his resume, family and good fortune should be able to settle, but for some reason Evander seems to be forever seeking something. I fear that this may be the detriment of his health and may cause serious health issues later in life.  Holyfield can still box, but he is a much slower and more tired version of a truly amazing boxer. He can still hang with a lot of top boxers in the world because he is one of the greatest to ever lace up the gloves, but why should he? This is hard to know. 

Should Evander retire from boxing? I would have to say absolutely. I love to see that he can still do it but he has accomplished more in boxing than most could do in two lifetimes and has nothing else to prove. I can only hope that he retires from the sport before he is remembered more for the end of his career than the great first two thirds of it. Beating a far-over-the-hill Brian Nielson does not mean that he is still relevant. He is and was a great fighter but there is always a time to call it quits. Some just can never admit that to themselves.