Evander Holyfield was one of the most exciting fighters of his era. The former heavyweight champion is remembered for action fights and a crowd-pleasing style. He’s now trying to apply that same approach to his career as a promoter.
“If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere,” said Holyfield. “It’s like a melting pot. There are so many fans here. A promoter should have something for everyone.”
Holyfield’s promotional company, Real Deal Championship Boxing, returns to New York with a 10-bout card this Saturday at Resorts World Casino in Queens. It seems to have a little something for everyone.
The main event is a WBC international title bantamweight title fight between Ghana’s Duke Micah (20-0) and Mexico’s Jose Santos-Gonzalez (23-4). The co-main event is an eight-round junior lightweight fight in which Port Chester’s Bryant Cruz (17-2) fights the Dominican Republic’s Angel Luna (11-3-1). The undercard also features a handful of prospects from Brooklyn and Queens as well as two female fights, including Lindenhurst middleweight Alicia Napolitano (7-1).
“I want to bring boxing back to the way it used to be,” said Holyfield, who won the heavyweight title four times. “People want to see competitive fights. I want to make competitive fights. Too many promoters are not working together and the best fights are not getting made.”
Holyfield used a similar formula when he came to Resorts World Casino with a card in September. The names may not have been too familiar, but the action inside the ring didn’t disappoint.
“Since our last show in New York City, boxing fans have been asking me when our next local show is and I’m as excited as they are about this Saturday night,” said Holyfield. “I made my pro debut after the Olympics in 1984 at Madison Square Garden and the fans in New York City have always been great. It’s really special to promote here.”
This will be Holyfield’s fourth card since launching his promotional company in June. He said he enjoys working with young fighters and the challenge of building their careers. The fighters Holyfield looks to promote share the same desire to entertain fans and seek out the best competition.
“They want to fight the best, no matter who the promoter is,” Holyfield said. “I like seeing that. They want to know who is the best out there. They aren’t afraid of losing or making a mistake. I made enough mistakes, so it’s good when you can learn from somebody else’s mistakes.”