When I Interviewed a World Heavyweight Boxing Champ..!

My phone rang as I drove home one night many years ago. It was from a newspaper I wrote for, “Would you like to interview Evander Holyfield, the boxer?”
“Ofcourse,” I said and images came to me of a badly bruised boxing heavy weight with a part of his ear in Tyson’s mouth.
His flight was late and as I sat in the hotel lobby, my mind went to pictures I had seen of world championships. Two men in a ring, more animal than human, glaring, eyeballing each other, moving around, their deadly, lethal fists ready to strike through opponent defense to score points or deliver murderous knock out. Fans screaming round ring, and millions screaming in front of television sets all the world over. Men excited, blow by blow, women swooning over brute muscle!
Holyfield had won the world boxing heavy weight title, a record four times! Even Muhammad Ali had won it only thrice. Unlike Ali though, Holyfield was no bragger. His was not to growl and snarl before the fight, with menacing words and terrifying threats, his was to meet the opponent in the ring and let his fists do the talking.
His ear had been bitten off by Mike Tyson. But he’d forgiven Tyson for that bloody wound. He was called The Humble Warrior.
He walked in, slow, calm and self-assured. He signed the autograph books, he smiled, a tired smile. I noticed, there was not an inch of him that was not pure muscle. I followed him to his room. He lay down for a few moments, “May I ask you a question?” I asked. He smiled, “Where does your strength come from?” I asked.
The journalist from Reuters tried to ask another question but I saw him suddenly looking at me with interest, “I want to answer his question,” said Holyfield, pointing to me and smiling, “Yes, I believe, my strength comes from a God above!”
“Thankyou,” I said, but Evander had not finished, ““It was tough at the beginning,” he continued, “to allow God’s muscle power to take over mine, but he gently took over and now I thank Him for giving me His strength!”
We talked awhile and later he got into one of the waiting cars and left. I waved to a great man and he waved back at me. I felt humbled. Here was a man, a muscle machine, relying not on himself to handle the world, but on a Divine Muscle above!
That was a World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, and as I think of that interview my mind goes to you and me, are we still relying on our puny muscle power? Do we still think of ourselves as ‘self-made‘ men and women? And as self-made men and women are you peering out wondering when the virus will pounce on you?
“God took over,” said Evander Holyfield, “Now I rely on His strength..!”


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10 thoughts on “When I Interviewed a World Heavyweight Boxing Champ..!”

  1. A down to earth statement! His humility is extraordinary for a celebrity.
    Yes we all eventually rely on HIS Strength! Always.

  2. When the third round of lockdown begins today, I feel walking through the desert without a sign of an oasis, and crying, O Lord, how long, and feel helpless and cry to the One above, I surrender.

  3. There’s a certain strength in being independent n proactive. And a greater strength in seeing God as the Benevolent Giver of strength n power. Surrendering to HIM is the best way to be with HIM always.

  4. Our strength courage and power cones from GOD
    Any situations we face today first we call Oh GOD I need you.
    He is our victory

  5. I need thee.
    Oh I need thee.. Every hour I need thee…. Oh.bless me now my Saviour I come to thee! Only God’s power will suffice..nothing of our own..we are flesh and blood..the virus is invisible and airborne!

  6. Evander was a great boxer yet needed HIS support to be able to defeat Tyson. We also need HIS intervention to defeat Corona and the terrible economic disaster that is likely to follow.

  7. Thank you for the great story of a wonderful child of God who trusted His Creator humbly to rise as the conqueror in the ring and fame as beating the record of the braggart who had been unfaithful to the Conqueror of Conquerors who keeps His promise of honouring His people who honour Him, in his pride.

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