Holyfield hits San Antonio!
November 8, 2006
Four-time world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield hit San Antonio by storm Monday, covering nearly all of this very large metropolis.
Holyfield, who just turned 44 and is campaigning to become the first-ever five-time heavyweight champion., fights slick Latino champ Fast Fres Oquendo as the main event of a spectacular card promoted by Murad Muhammad of M & M Sports and Real Deal Events this Friday night at the Alamodome. The scheduled 12-rounder is supported by some great local matches including a grudge fight between welterweights Oscar Diaz and Golden Johnson.
Call your local cable operator or satellite provider to get the PPV telecast which is selling for a reasonable and affordable price of $44.95 There are also plenty of good and affordable tickets remaining at the Alamodome although Muhammad said he is expecting a crowd of at least 12,000.
"The tickets are moving well," Muhammad said. "Like most Latino boxing markets, the bulk of the tickets will be walk up sales on fight day. We have had support from the mayor, from local leaders like Red McCombs and the local media people have all been very supportive and welcoming. I tell people to come to the arena because you want to be able to say you were there when history was made. You want to be able to tell your children and grandchildren, 'I saw the legend, Holyfield. I was there."
Holyfield got off a plane from Detroit Sunday night after appearing on the Fox Sports Detroit-Atlanta NFL telecast. He immediately did a local TV interview.
Holyfield started his Monday with a zippy workout at the historic San Fernando Gym,recently renamed after local ring hero Jesse James Leija. He did stretching exercises with his longtime conditioning guru and then showed blazing hand speed and power while banging on the hand mitts held by veteran trainer Ronnie Shields. He finished his workout with more stretching with Hallmark.
"I have been simulating Oquendo's style in sparring," sparmate Dominic "Southern Disaster" Guinn said. "I think Evander knows Fres inside and out. He will win this fight. He will show why he is considered a legend."
Looking on was trainer Lou Duva, who spent 14 prosperous years with Holyfield. He, too, envisions a Holyfield victory.
"Evander fits right in the heavyweight title picture," Duva said. "You got al these guys who can't speak English and whose names you can't pronounce. He is different. Evander is a well-known and well-liked personality when it comes to the American public."
Later, Holyfield entranced about 1000 schoolchildren of all ages at former NBA superstar George "Iceman" Gervin's Academy on the East Side.
"I was a little eight-year-old who wanted to become heavyweight champ," Holyfield told the students. "Then they said I was too little. Now they I am too old. But I did not believe that. Don't let nobody determine your destination. I was born poor. I was born unpopular. I was born in the ghetto. But I never quit and I kept on fighting. You can do the same."
For his part, Gervin said the kids should apply Holyfield's message to their schoolwork.
"What a wonderful man," Gervin said. "His message to you is to fight for your education. That is your big fight."
Holyfield then went to Univision, Channel 41, for a live interview.
Holyfield finished his day with a presentation of free tickets to his fight to wounded soldiers at Red McCombs Superior Pontiac dealership. The soldiers included one young man whose leg was blown off in Iraq.
"When I fight, it is just a sport," Holyfield said. "When you fight, it is life and death. And you fight to protect our great country. Tickets to the fight is a small thing, I know, but I am honored to meet you all and show some little appreciation for what you do."
Promoter Muhammad joined in the salute to Deputy General Mark Graham (Ft. Sam Houston, 5th US Army) and his soldiers.
"I come from a military background and upbringing," Muhammad said. "I salute you all."
Both Holyfield and Oquendo will have open to public and media workouts Tuesday at Sunset Station and do a national media conference call Tuesday afternoon.