Evan Holyfield (4-0, 3 KOs) talks about his training camp, return to the ring against Donnis Reed (3-7, 2 KOs) in Jonesboro, GA, his dad and Holyfield-Tyson 3.
“I am with a whole new training staff right now, back down in Atlanta where I came up through the amateur ranks, with my former trainers and a new addition of Mark Breland. Everyone around here is like family, even Mark as I got to know him a little better and I’m happy and there is nothing more dangerous than a happy fighter. I am round a lot of good energy and a lot of good people. There have been some tough sparring days and some tough training days. I’ve been working on some new tools with Mark and adding some elements to my game. I feel like I really sacrificed for this camp and I’m anxious to see the results. You are going to see something different and I can’t wait to get in there to show people what I have learned. I’m pretty excited to see what happens.
“I feel like it’s an early Christmas gift and I understand that everybody has not had the opportunity to get a fight this year and I feel like I am really blessed to get the opportunity.
“On Saturday, I know he is going to try and push me but being pushed comes with an evolution of yourself. The last three fights have been a tremendous experience for me, especially the last one going the distance.
“It’s a blessing to have my last name but it is also a blessing to be working towards living up to it
“Could my dad train me? My dad couldn’t train me because he understands it is an investment in time and that’s hard being the way he is and with what he possibly has coming up (Tyson?). Plus it’s not always easy to have the business in the family. If you are a trainer you have to be there all the time. Mark Breland is a dedicated trainer and he is going to be there no matter what part of the day as well as my other trainer Bert Wells. But my dad and me from talking regularly and he is always out there to help when needed. He always tells me to keep a level head, and the work I put in will be the results I get out, be in shape and to do what I do best – always throw combinations and don’t be there to be hit. He’s been by to see training and is pretty impressed with what we’ve been working on. He said to stay focused and work hard and that’s the name of the game. It’s all about staying ready and not getting ready.
“So, my dad training me is out but I do want to spar him one time.”
“I don’t feel like I am following in my dad’s footsteps, I feel like the sport has chosen me. I had my first fight at 8 years old but then my mom took me out of it – she didn’t like seeing her 8-year-old child getting hit, so then I went to Taekwondo and was #1 in the nation for about a year. Then I got DQ’d for hitting someone too hard in the head so my dad said maybe you should try boxing where you can’t get DQ’d for hitting someone in the head. But I was getting kicked so I had to put the equalizer on him.
In high school, all the kids were investing in one sport and one day I came downstairs and told my mom and dad “I want to do boxing and this is the only sport I want to do.” My dad said, ‘you know people are going to want to hurt you and compare you to me so if you are going to do this do it for yourself.’ I had my ups and downs in the beginning. My mom offered me many times to quit but this is really what I stuck to.
On Tyson and Holyfield-Tyson 3
“I was really impressed with Mike Tyson not having fought for as long as he has. I’ve been watching his YouTube videos and he’s been smoking a lot of weed so I was surprised that he had some wind too. It was good to see because everybody likes Mike Tyson. I didn’t think it was a draw but as long as they came out with good health and had a good time.
“My dad’s been training and getting back into shape and I know it’s something that he’s been wanting. So all of his training we thought was for no reason but it may be paying off. My dad will do what he did the first two times. You know, water and oil don’t always mix. My dad just seems to be Mike Tyson’s oil, so we will just have to see.
“I feel like a third fight with Mike Tyson would be great especially if his ear stays in tact. Of course, I got my pop.
Cassius Chaney (19-0, 13 KOs) fights Jason Bergman (27-18, 18 KOs).
“I had training camp in Miami with Luis Ortiz’ trainer German Caicedo. Training camp was HARD, it was good though, but tough. I know that the sacrifice was there and as long as I am pushing through it and get through the training, I know when I fight it’s going to be easy. But it’s tough on everybody. I know that people are going through those days, like dang, but I’m cool with it.
“German has been around a long time – he has trained Shannon Briggs and has had Luis Ortiz basically his whole career since he came to the America. I went down to German in April to try it out. We stay in the gym. We are in a warehouse. There are seven of us that live there but I am the only American fighter – there is a Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Panamanian and an African. We are in West Miami and the only place I have ventured out to is Walmart – (laughing) I know where everything is in Walmart now.
“I’m just happy to get back in there, I need to keep busy. My body is getting stronger. The stuff I have been going through in the gym makes me realize, ‘hey, if I can get through this, when I fight, that’s the prize.’ That’s the fun part – when I put it together. I’m rounding out as a professional now.
“I think in 2021 I should have a couple of step up fights. There are some guys out there that make sense but it also has to make sense to them. I’m in a tricky situation. Main Events wants to be careful but they also want me to show them I’m getting better. I think once I hit the TV stream, the fans will enjoy my style. It’s just a matter of me putting in the work.
“I don’t watch the video (of me knocking Joe Caudle out of the ring) but people show it to me all the time or tag me in it. I don’t watch it because I threw so many punches that were so wrong, because I was mad at him. He was talking trash for so long, we were supposed to fight two years prior and it started then. He was going on social media saying he had a body bag for me and my mom saw it and my brother saw it, then after the fight he turns right around and asks me for advice! And I gave it to him!
“So I was sitting on that trash talk for so long that when the fight came around, that’s why my reaction was what it was then I was like, ‘wow, he went out of the ring.’ Then I was like ‘dang, it’s over’ then he tried to get back in the ring and I’m like “this dude is crazy.” I was in shock but then I was more in shock that he was trying to get back in the ring. I think there was a ghost next to him or something to save him from a horrible fall. Then the referee did the right thing.”
Regarding Bergman: “He’s a veteran and seems quite durable. I have to make my presence felt right away, to overwhelm him. I really want to use my jab and work on my range and he really shouldn’t touch me but I really want to be able to get some rounds in and show that I am learning as a professional and doing things different than I did in my last fight – getting better.”
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