How boxing legend blew $300 million

 

The top of his right ear isn't the only thing Evander Holyfield wishes he could get back.

The four-time heavyweight champion estimates he earned more than $300 million during his 26 years in the ring.

After claiming his first world title in 1986, the boxing legend won 44 bouts in a stellar career, including two victories over Mike Tyson and other famous wins against George Foreman, Larry Holmes and Buster Douglas.

But the 57-year-old currently lives in a two-bedroom apartment after squandering his millions on poor investments.

Evander Holyfield managed to squander his entire $300 million fortune and now lives in a two-bedroom apartment.
Evander Holyfield managed to squander his entire $300 million fortune and now lives in a two-bedroom apartment.

Stream over 50 sports Live & On-Demand with KAYO SPORTS on your TV, computer, mobile or tablet. Just $25/month, no lock-in contract. Get your 14-day free trial and start streaming instantly >

Widely known for having the top of his ear bitten off by Tyson in 1997, the former two-weight world champion managed to lose his entire life savings after his last professional fight in 2011.

Holyfield, known as "The Real Deal", fell victim to reckless spending, bad business deals and even worse financial advice.

The full extent of the 57-year-old's financial woes were revealed on a recent episode of CNBC's Back in the Game, where baseball legend and financial success Alex Rodriguez attempts to help former athletes fight out of money troubles.

Although he continues to earn up to $100,000 a month through personal appearances, the world champion is basically broke. This is how it happened.

REAL DEAL A REAL STEAL

Evander Holyfield's failed products include the Knockout 360 fire extinguisher and
Evander Holyfield's failed products include the Knockout 360 fire extinguisher and "Real Deal" BBQ Sauce

Holyfield's list of flops include a failed record label which cost him $2.9 million, an unsuccessful restaurant business which bled another $10.5 million - and a number of unpopular products bearing his name including BBQ sauce, a kitchen grill and a fire extinguisher.

Although he is one of the biggest names in professional boxing, his personal brand was not properly utilised for a reliable source of revenue.

"What I really want Evander to understand is what is the value of his name and what he brings to the table," Rodriguez says.

"There's not one boxer active that has more brand equity than (him) ... His name is worth far more than he realises.

"He's a trusted brand. His fame, his name, his reputation; that's his superpower."

THE MONEY-PIT MANSION

Holyfield also paid $29 million in cash for a 16,000-square metre mansion. Built in 1994, The 109-room property in Fayetteville County, Georgia, featured a 1.3 million litre pool, a bowling alley and a dining room that seated 100 people.

But once the mansion had been built, he struggled to afford the property's upkeep. Gardening, airconditioning, electricity and other necessities were reportedly costing Holyfield $1 million a year.

He was forced to sell the mansion to the bank for $10.9 million, less than half of what he purchased it for, before American rapper Rick Ross picked it up for a bargain in 2014.

Evander Holyfield's $29 million mansion. Picture: John Spink/Atlanta Journal Constitution/AP
Evander Holyfield's $29 million mansion. Picture: John Spink/Atlanta Journal Constitution/AP

MOUTHS TO FEED

Holyfield has 11 children with six different women, and provides ongoing financial support to a number of them.

One of his six sons is Elijah Esaias Holyfield, a footballer currently representing the Carolina Panthers in the NFL.

Another son, 22-year-old Evan, made his professional boxing debut earlier this month, knocking out opponent Nick Winstead in only 16 seconds.

The Real Deal has endured three failed marriages. His third wife, Candi Calvana Smith, filed a restraining order against Holyfield in 2010 after he allegedly assaulted her in front of the children during a heated argument.

Candi received a large sum of cash and property from the 2012 divorce, including child and spousal support.

 

Rodriguez said Holyfield was let down by the people around him during his fighting days.

"He did not have a team to protect his money while he was making millions, and today there is no one in his corner to help him establish his blue-chip brand," Rodriguez said.

"If he had the right team behind him, he would have never lost his fortune."

"It is hard to fall down, and I kind of feel like everything is too late," Holyfield said.

"When you don't have others looking out for you, everybody's taking something for themself.

"Man, they were stealing, just stealing, stealing."

But he's determined to rectify past errors and establish a safe financial grounding for his 11 kids.

"(I want to) pass this onto my kids, where they won't have to worry about the same thing," Holyfield said. "I used to be foolish, but I ain't foolish no more."

“The Real Deal” remains the only boxer in history to win the undisputed championship in two weight classes.
“The Real Deal” remains the only boxer in history to win the undisputed championship in two weight classes.

But he still hasn't closed the door on his fight career.

After not stepping in the professional ring for over eight years, Holyfield recently announced he will take part in an exhibition bout for charity in Japan, with a date not yet confirmed.

"The big thing is to give people in Japan the opportunity to see the only four-time heavyweight champion of the world," Holyfield told TMZ Sports. "It's something for them and something for me."


11-year-old’s brave fight after snake bite

premium_icon 11-year-old’s brave fight after snake bite

Snake-bite victim London Sharwood's brave battle continues

'The next minute he was in danger of losing an ear'

premium_icon 'The next minute he was in danger of losing an ear'

Off-duty police officer was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery

Why this woman is visiting beaches in 230 countries

premium_icon Why this woman is visiting beaches in 230 countries

A BYRON BAY woman will run more than 16km of beaches across 230 countries to...