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Presidents Column  |  May 2011

Posted on May 16 2011                                              Bookmark and Share
By WBF President Howard Goldberg  



I was talking to a newspaper man from Johannesburg who called me to chat about the World Boxing Federation. We spoke for about an hour, but the main topic of conversation involved our world heavyweight champion, Evander 'The Real Deal' Holyfield and the reasons for us not sanctioning his Denmark fight as a WBF world title defence.

The debate was interesting. He made a comparison between the Evander Holyfield v Brian Nielsen fight and the mega fight between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley. 

While the latter was for a world title and also featured an ageing Mosley, the fight in itself proved to be somewhat disappointing and lacked excitement making it somewhat boring for the many spectators in attendance.

On the other hand, Holyfield v Nielsen, with two ageing fighters, amazingly proved to be a real scrap, with both fighters throwing lots of leather and producing an enjoyable bout leaving the spectators feeling more than satisfied.

So the newspaper man argued that with the above information the WBF erred in not sanctioning the fight. It was an opportunity, he said, to earn a sanction fee, showcase our legendary champion and give the WBF exposure. The truth of the matter is that the WBF took a strategic decision in not sanctioning the fight. Of course, Evander is an icon and a legend and of course we would love to showcase the Real Deal - but only against worthy contenders. Styles make fights and while Holyfield v Nielsen was entertaining, the truth again is that no legitimate organization should sanction a world title fight involving a boxer who has not fought in almost a decade. What message would it send and how unethical would it be? Credit to Brian Nielsen for putting up a good show, but he was certainly not deserving to contest a world title because of his inactivity.

I have been in discussions with the Holyfield camp since the Nielsen fight, and we all look forward to Evander continuing this incredible and almost unbelievable quest when he defends his WBF world title against a legitimate contender in the next few months. Evander did in Denmark what he had to do. He chalked up another victory and we at the WBF are extremely proud of him. A truly remarkable man is our 'Real Deal'.

Until next time, keep boxing.

Howard Goldberg

PRESIDENT: World Boxing Federation


  Presidents Column April 2011
  Presidents Column March 2011
  Presidents Column February 2011
  Presidents Column January 2011
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  Presidents Column June 2010
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  Presidents Column April 2010
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