The Evander Holyfield nickname of ‘Real Deal’ is up there for one of the most famous nicknames in boxing history.
The great man has been in the boxing news a lot just recently – yesterday he was seen here with Shannon Briggs shadow sparring.
Growing up watching Holyfield’s fights I must admit, I always believed the nickname just stemmed from his fighting skill and accomplishments in the sport.
I didn’t realize the story behind it was actually a play on another potential nickname that he didn’t want to be called in the first place.
Many will recall that Holyfield was part of a legendary American Olympic boxing team in 1984 (LA, California Games) during a time where the US often dominated at amateur level and this is where the Evander Holyfield nickname has it’s origin.
Speaking to ES News and other members of the media in an open media scrum on where the Evander Holyfield nickname came from, the man himself said:
“‘Real Deal’ came up in the Olympics. I got disqualified. They started calling me ‘Raw Deal’. I said no, no, no – I’m the ‘Real Deal’! I didn’t want to be nothing negative. I didn’t want my whole life to be built upon something negative. It actually worked for me because I got the ABC (television) contract. I got a million dollars. Everybody else got a Gold medal, I got a bronze medal and a million dollars.”
Holyfield’s professional career (44-10-2-29KO) included a who’s who of names on his CV, during a sweet science tenure that saw him capture the undisputed cruiserweight and heavyweight world titles.
Becoming the only boxer to this day in fact to capture the heavyweight title on four separate occasions.
Names on his record include the likes of Mike Tyson, James Toney, Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe, Gorge Foreman, Ray Mercer, Michael Moorer, Larry Holmes and James ‘Buster’ Douglas – to name just a few.
For the full interview on where the Evander Holyfield nickname came from and much more regarding his career you can check it out here:
(Courtesy of Mr.Elie Seckbach)
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