El Paso, Texas, June 30, 2007 – In what was dubbed the trail to the heavyweight championship, four-time heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield (42,8-2, 27KO’s) took on the enormous Lou Savarese (46-6, 38KO’s) Saturday night at the UTEP campus Don Haskins Center. Since his return to the ring, many questioned Holyfield’s age, ability, stamina and power.
Tonight, Holyfield proved that he is the real deal.
Coming in weighing 219lbs, Holyfield was unquestionably the much smaller fighter, losing about 5 inches in height and reach to the giant Savarese who has faced many of the top heavyweight contenders in his career, including Mike Tyson. Savarese came in at 242lbs.
The crowd favorite was Holyfield, as many local El Paso residents were excited to get a glimpse of an active legend. The first round started fairly slowly as both fighters were testing the waters. Holyfield threw a few straight jabs which stopped Savarese in his tracks, while both danced around the ring landing nothing significant. The second round was more of the same except that fighters heads clashed two times opening a small cut on Savarese’s forehead. Those who have followed Holyfield’s track record know that he is no stranger to head butts.
In the third round, Savarese landed a vicious uppercut which buckled Holyfield’s legs. It was a clear moment for Savarese to jump on Holyfield, potentially ending the fight early. Holyfield managed to duck Savarese’s barrage of hooks and uppercuts to make it out of the round.
In the fourth round is when Holyfield returned to the ring in his 90’s form. Holyfield threw a hammering left hook to the body sending Savarese to the corner. Seemingly receiving a burst of energy Holyfield exploded with his trademark combinations sending Savarese to the canvas. Savarese showed his great heart by forcing himself up by the count of nine and demanding that he was ok to go on.
Then next four rounds were a trade off between the two warriors in the most exciting heavyweight match up in years. Holyfield took most of the rounds. In round nine, Holyfield landed the perfect left hook to Savarese’s jaw immediately sending Savarese to the floor for the second time in the fight. Again, Savarese showed courage and heart by picking himself off the mat and continuing to the last round where he took more punishment from Holyfield.
He is back and is the real deal. Evander Holyfield looked relaxed and in shape. He is by no doubt ready to challenge some of the top heavyweight fighters. Holyfield told us after the fight that “age is just a number. Life is about making adjustments, and I have made those adjustments. I will be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and retire as the 5-time heavyweight champion.
Judges ringside had the fight scored 99-87 (Ray Hawkins), 98-90 (Jerry Wright) , 96-91 (Glen Crocker).
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