Holyfield set to take on Oquendo
The AP reports today that Evander Holyfield will face Fres Oquendo in November.
Though ranked by only one of the alphabet sanctioning bodies, Oquendo, 33, represents a major step up for Holyfield, 43, who faced hapless Jeremy Bates in August (KO 2). He is ranked number 16 in our latest Top 25 Heavyweights list.
It also may prove the last stop for the former champion. Oquendo, not known as a big puncher, is nonetheless a much fresher boxer who is quick-fisted and lands at a greater frequency than Holyfield can likely tolerate at this stage of his career (and life).
Holyfield has repeatedly stated that his intent for this latest comeback is to recapture a world title. Holyfield is 2-4-1, in his last seven bouts stretching back to the date of losing to John Ruiz in 2001.
Importantly, his early stoppage of Bates represented Holyfield’s first knockout victory in nine (yes nine) years.
In the Bates bout, as has always been the case for Holyfield, he appeared to be in top condition. Appearances are indeed deceiving. Despite a muscular build that many bodybuilders would envy, since losing his title to Ruiz, Holyfield has shown a propensity for being hit without his trademark ability to counter-punch in evidence.
He can likely pass any battery of medical tests and indeed is entitled to continue fighting as long as he does so, but it is clear to all but him that no world title will come his way again.
Oquendo will land with sharp punches early and often. While many of us expect to see an Oquendo stoppage victory, the only real question is when it will come. For Holyfield’s sake let’s hope it comes early.