Evander Holyfield’s heavyweight title hunt was stalled last night after a head butt-induced cut lead to a third round no contest against Sherman Williams.
The PPV, black-tie exclusive event took place at a resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virigina. The 48-year-old Holyfield tested Williams’s (34-11-2, 19 KOs) resolve in the first with a hard left hand. Williams responded with a flurry that put the Real Deal back on his heels.
In the second round, both fighters came in and caused a clash of heads that opened a cut above Holyfield’s left eye. The injury made Williams aggressive, and he staggered Holyfiled with several shots in the third round. Williams would later state the cut came from a punch.
After the round ended, Holyfield complained that he couldn’t see. Following a doctor’s evaluation, the fight was stopped.
Throughout his career, opponents have complained about Holyfield’s own predilection to cut and swell fighters by leading with his own head. The most notable recipients were Mike Tyson and Hasim Rahman. Tyson claimed a butt in the middle rounds of their first bout gave him a slight concussion, and he couldn’t remember the rest of the bout. When he was butted again in their rematch, he responded by biting off Holyfield’s ear, causing a disqualification. Rahman suffered huge swelling on the side of his head, and lost a technical decision when the fight was stopped and went to the cards.
Holyfield offered no complaints despite now being on the receiving end of a bad butt.
“I’m very disappointed. Stuff like this happens and I’ll shake it off,” said Holyfield, now 43-10-2, with 28 KOs. “Hopefully, I’ll get this stitched up and it won’t be a problem. Life goes on, it’s part of boxing.”
Evander Holyfield has vowed to not retire until he reaches his goal of becoming a world champion for the fifth time. He last held a portion of the title in 2000, when he defeated John Ruiz by unanimous decision to win the vacant WBA belt.