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Evander Holyfield & Oliver McCall: Legal Hot Water for Former Champs

By Geno McGahee

Wife Beater

The former Undisputed Heavyweight Champion, Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield was recently accused of beating his wife after a religious dispute. According to reports, Holyfield’s wife was unhappy about the home heat being turned off and was concerned about her children, which led to an argument, and brought Holyfield to his favorite topic: God.

Evander allegedly demanded to see the checkbook to make sure that his wife was donating enough money to the church because God apparently needs a lot of money, and when she refused, he hit her numerous times. She had reportedly applied for a restraining order, but has since dropped it.

This is not out of the ordinary behavior for Holyfield. He is one of the dirtiest fighters ever to lace up the gloves, yet he continuously shoves this religious nonsense down the throats of the viewer. Thank God he got rid of Hammer. I could only hear the song “Pray” 10 dozen times before I lost my lunch as he walked his buddy to the ring.

You really have to question the character of Holyfield. His actions alone prior to this lend credibility. His refusal to pay child support, until he was force to by threat of imprisonment and his continual and flagrant fouls inside the ring tell me all I need to know about him. Many point to Mike Tyson as the problem when they faced each other in the rematch during that “ear bite heard around the world” incident, but people gloss over the fact that Tyson was getting head butted over and over and over again. It was justified.

Money talks and now Holyfield is out of the hot water. Unfortunately, this seems to be the common path of many beaten women. They file and then recant and that is yet again the case here. There aren’t many things worse than a wife beater.


Former WBC Heavyweight Champion, Oliver “Atomic Bull” McCall has been picked up again for drugs. He was scheduled to take on Zuri Lawrence in his next fight, a bout that has been called off due to the circumstances, and now he has a bigger fight ahead of him.

McCall had all the makings of a good heavyweight, possibly a great one. He possessed a big punch and a granite chin. He made a reputation for himself because of his heated sparring sessions with then champion, Mike Tyson, but he earned a shot at the WBC Crown himself in 1994 against the highly touted, undefeated “Lion” Lennox Lewis.

In the second round, McCall unleashed a big right hand that sent the British heavyweight to the floor and out of the fight. McCall had realized a dream and was now in a position to make some big waves in boxing, but he could not get his personal life in order. He would lose the title shortly thereafter to Frank Bruno, and would have a mental breakdown in a rematch with Lennox Lewis.

The rematch in 1997 was a window into the inner turmoil that is the life of McCall. Frustrated, McCall began to lose it and allowed Lewis to hit him without a defense. He just stood there and took the punishment, walking away from time to time. His head was not in the fight. A testament to the chin of McCall was how he took the best shots of Lewis unprotected and wasn’t moved. What he could have been had he not had any problems.

The fight was stopped as McCall began to sob. Despite comments later on that he was playing with Lewis and baiting him in, it was obvious that he had some major problems. Don King took the wrap…an easy scapegoat…but the problems lie with the Atomic Bull.

In 2006, he would be picked up by police with cocaine and a glass pipe in his possession, and, according to reports, he threatened to kill the officers. Arrests for disorderly conduct and failed stints in rehab turned a potentially great fighter into an unstable and unreliable head case.

Oliver McCall was and seems to always be a step or two away from a title shot. He compiled a record of 26-2, 17 KO’s, since his defeat to Lennox Lewis in 1997, and recently put three wins together against relatively decent opposition. With his name value and checkered past, he was likely to get another crack, especially when you consider that he was one of the two men that hold a victory over the last great heavyweight, Lennox Lewis.

Now we await to see how this latest arrest is handled. He was found with cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also in violation of parole, and it now seems that he will be going away for a while.

The career of Oliver McCall as a viable heavyweight contender is over and perhaps his career too is now at its end. He will most likely go down in history as the first man to beat Lennox Lewis and one of Mike Tyson’s best sparring partners, which is a shame, because he could have been much more.

Let’s hope that he can finally overcome this inner demon and remain clean. It seems that the lights and fame that go along with boxing were a little too much for him.


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