Evander Holyfield rarely fails to deliver some interesting opinions on whatever subject he's quizzed about. But in the lead-up to boxing's most recent "Fight of the Century," between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Holyfield has some truly interesting insights.
Although Mayweather is a slight favorite according to the betting lines, some experts, including Mike Tyson, are picking Pacquiao to win the fight. So is Holyfield. But it's not for the reasons you might expect. Yes, maybe Pacquiao is expected to move faster, put up a relentless fight. But Holyfield's reasoning is much simpler.
"Mayweather won't win, because from what I've seen, boxing doesn't want nobody to get out [of the sport] undefeated," Holyfield told Sports on Earth columnist Terence Moore this week. "They want to keep the money in the sport by doing things to make it happen this way: Somebody beats the man, and then somebody beats the man who beat the man, and then somebody beats the man who beat the man who beat the man who beat the man.
Don't get Holyfield wrong: He thinks the fight will be close, and maybe come down to a decision. But Mayweather, he declares, will lose, and his perfect record will be ruined.
"Then it's going to be a matter of whether Mayweather is going to fight again, whether he feels like he has made enough money to say, 'I ain't got to fight,'" Holyfield told Moore.
Naturally, a loss to Pacquaio sets up a perfect narrative leading into a rematch. Holyfield notes that the $400 million fight could probably inspire a rematch generating another $100 million. "[Boxing executives] set it up that way," he said. "It's because they will not let you out of boxing undefeated, not unless you trick them."
How, exactly, do you trick the boxing executives?
"You have to tell them, 'I'm going to fight 10 more times,'" Holyfield said, "And then when you get to five, you quit."