Which one is the real deal?
Todays “Star Of The Day” doesn’t have any connections to the dark and hidden history of the planet, but he’s someone that I did have brief and funny personal moment with. Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield became what had been since the days of Ali, a heavyweight champ that the people could relate to. Larry Holmes, a very capable boxer was never really embraced by the American public. His workmanlike style was a direct contrast to the dazzling showmanship of Ali, the champ that he eventually displaced in the eyes of the public. After Holmes hung the gloves up, George Foreman had a brief and amazing renaissance, transforming his bruttish persona into a grill pitching, hard hitting teddy bear. After Foremans’ brief resurrection, it was psycho Mike Tysons turn to wear the belt. But Tyson was such a polarizing character, that he attracted equal amounts of rabid support and dissent. Enter Holyfield.
Evander Holyfield was a no nonsense, hardworking, hard punching heavyweight out of the ATL. He won a bronze medal at the LA Olympics gold medal and leaped from the amateur to the pro ring with ease, starting as a Cruiserweight and eventually working his way up to the Heavyweight class Holyfield has compiled a 42-9-2 record as a pro. But it was his fights with Tyson that made for theater of the bizarre, when Tyson went Hannibal Lecter on Holyfield, snacking on both of Holyfield’s ears during their infamous 1997 bout.
Holyfield could never get past British champ, Lennox Lewis, eking out a controversial draw in their first bout, and decidedly losing in the second go round with Lewis.
Unfortunately, Holyfield seems to be succumbing to the travails that plague most boxers. He’s lost most of his cash, had his house repossessed, had to deal with prodigious alimony and child support settlements with a number of different marriages. Holyfield appears to be on the ropes in the middle rounds of his life.
Evander Holyfiields doppelganger is Lee Woodall, a former linebacker of The San Francisco Forty-Niners, Woodall and Holyfield could have passed for twins and it was always good for a chuckle whenever The Niners would travel to Atlanta to play The Falcons and Holyfield would be on the sidelines and the announcers would see him and put their pictures side-by-side during the broadcast of the game.
When I was at MIDEM in 2001, a music conference held in Cannes, Holyfield’s label, “Real Deal Records” had a booth their. As I was cruising past their booth, I spotted Holyfield, signing photos and CDs. I walked up to him and said, “Hey, I know you, I know who you are, you’re Lee Woodall!!” While one of his guys sanding behind him had to suppress his laughter, Holyfield didn’t think it was all that funny.
Some notable others born today include: Cuba Gooding, Divine, John Lithgow, and Peter Tosh.