Life Imitates Art, Boxing Edition

Life Imitates Art, Boxing Edition

An article in the New York Times on a former heavyweight champion’s comeback attempt tells a familiar story. Who’s the boxer?

An article in the New York Times on a former champion’s comeback attempt tells a familiar story. Who’s the boxer? Read below for excerpts of the article, with The Boxer’s name omitted for you to fill in the blanks.


He won’t go away. He is well past his prime, boxing’s version of a future baseball Hall of Famer still toiling in the minors.

[The Boxer]: dedicated or delusional? Courageous or crazy? At [an old age], he does not care what boxing fans think. For those urging him to get a life or to find normalcy, whether out of care and concern for him or simply the desire to shove the doyen off boxing’s stage, he says: “I have respect for that. But that’s just your opinion. I have an opinion, too.”

[The Boxer] insists [that old age] is not driving him to squeeze the last sweat drops out of his vocation…Nor is it about pride or re-establishing his name, no small feat for someone so far removed from fame.

This fight, he attests, is about imparting a continuous lesson in perseverance to his [children].

A career beset by physical hardships and pockmarked by bizarre incidents has left him unfazed.


[The Boxer], whose ability to be calm in the swirl of chaos may be his greatest strength, has never lost his mojo.

He admits to the aches and pains inescapable with creeping age, and he may cancel a [training] session or cut one short.

“I’m not doing what I used to do, trying to burn it every day,” he said. “My body don’t recover as fast.”

“People say: ‘You ain’t thinking. It’s your ego,’ ” [The Boxer] said.

“I know people look at this as a freak show,” he said.

“This country is built on proving you can do it,” he said. To heck with prevailing sentiment: “I came up on the wrong side of the tracks, so nobody ever believed in me anyway.”

He won’t go away. Not without a fight, or three.

Now, fill in the blanks. Is it Rocky Balboa, or is it…

Evander Holyfield?

I think he needs a training montage.

[Note: I know, Holyfield is fighting a huge Russian in his upcoming bout, but age-wise, Holyfield, at 46, is 7 years older than Sylvester Stallone/Rocky at the time of Rocky IV.]

One Comment on “Life Imitates Art, Boxing Edition”

  1. Gab #

    I wasn’t sure if it was him or Tyson until I read this line:

    “…whose ability to be calm in the swirl of chaos.”

    I watched the famous ear incident live. Boy, were my parents pissed off. Me, I was scared shitless because of how terrifying Tyson looked on the slow-mo replays: those eyes, he looked like a blood-crazed lion or something as he dug into Holyfield’s head with his teeth.

    Three 6 Mafia did some collaboration work with Justin Timberlake, you know.


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