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Presidents Column  |  February 2011

Posted on February 4 2011                                              Bookmark and Share
By WBF President Howard Goldberg  

         

 
 

My phone has been inundated over the last week with people from all over the world giving comments, advice, criticism, direction and everything else following the WBF world heavyweight title fight between Evander Holyfield and Sherman Williams. 

While commitments back home in South Africa prevented me from attending, our Latin American Coordinator, Sergio Sotelo, did an outstanding job in the most professional manner, gaining us many more supporters to our ever growing organization. I was extremely proud of Sergio's efforts and he is to be commended on holding the WBF flag high.

Suffice to say, I watched the fight on television back in my home in Cape Town, and was truly proud that the World Boxing Federation was headlining a US television-covered fight of such magnitude. 

The truth of the matter is that after three rounds, and unquestionably the right ruling of a no-contest, I had to reflect on the performance of a one-time great - perhaps even one of the greatest of all time, Evander 'The Real Deal' Holyfield. A man who has achieved almost everything a fighter could achieve and a man whose legacy will last forever. My friends who know me well, will know that I call it the way that I see it and I speak openly and honestly even when it might not be the politically correct thing to do. So the question that is being posed around the world and a question specifically directed at the WBF - what now for Evander Holyfield?

A tough question to answer and a question that needs to be honestly put to our champ. Is perhaps 48 years of age now time to call it quits? Is there another one or two fights left in the man? Does the WBF sanction another fight and if so - against whom? Is there a danger of Evander getting hurt in the ring?

The Championship Committee of the World Boxing Federation comprises some extremely wise men, and it is this committee who ultimately will decide two things. Firstly what is best for the WBF, and secondly what is best for Evander Holyfield. We would never compromise the safety of any of our champions, and a serious discussion would thus take place if we felt that Evander might be in some danger were he to fight. The bottom line is quite simple.  'The Real Deal' is our current world heavyweight champion. In our hearts and minds, even were Evander to retire immediately, he will remain a champion to the WBF. In life it is not always a belt that makes one a world champion, but it is kindness, courtesy, dignity and morality which are the prerequisites of a champion of the people. 

Whatever we, the WBF, and Evander Holyfield decide, and whether its time to call it quits or possibly have one or two more carefully matched fights - you, Evander, are truly the champion of the people.  No-one can ever take that away from you. 

Until next time, keep boxing.

Howard Goldberg

PRESIDENT: World Boxing Federation

 

 
 
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