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“She Said You Can’t Just Start Crying”: Evander Holyfield Reveals Real Reason He Didn’t Immediately Protest Controversial DQ at 1984 Olympics

Published 11/19/2023, 7:24 AM EST

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He won the World Heavyweight Championship four different times. He is also the only man to achieve such a feat. But it wasn’t all hunky dory for Evander Holyfield when he began his journey in the unique sport of boxing. In an attempt to follow in the footsteps of his idol Muhammad Ali, Holyfield competed in the 1984 Olympics. As the saying goes, adversities make the hardest of men. 

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During the light heavyweight boxing semi-finals between Holyfield and New Zealand’s Kevin Barry in the 1984 Olympics, tragedy struck. Despite having dominated his opponent, Holyfield was disqualified for hitting his opponent after the break. The decision was heavily criticized, with some even labeling the decision as a robbery. Thirty-nine years after the fateful incident, Evander Holyfield finally opens up about why he did not protest against the disqualification call. 

Evander Holyfield claims he was disappointed with the decision


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While appearing in an interview with Vlad TV, Evander Holyfield recalled the fight where he was robbed of a victory. “It was just a bad call on their behalf…it stopped me from moving up. I was just a little disappointed,” said the former champion. ‘The Real Deal’ then revealed that everyone questioned him about not protesting the decision. So, in response, Holyfield told them his mother was in the audience and would climb inside the ring to thrash him for being a sore loser. 

“I said my mama’s there. I said I didn’t want my mama climb up in the ring and hit me with that shoe,” said Holyfield. Later in the interview, Holyfield also revealed what his mother had told him before. “She said don’t act like nothing ain’t ever happened to you…things happen to everybody at any given time. She said you can’t just start crying,” Holyfield told Vlad TV.


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With that out of the way, the Warrior once claimed that he is open to facing Mike Tyson once again.

Holyfield wants to run it back with former rival


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Who can forget the legendary and fearsome rivalry between Evander Holyfield and ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson? Not to mention the infamous bite fight when an angry Mike bit off Holyfield’s ear during their rematch. However, the two legendary pugilists have hashed things out since that fateful night.

During an interview with The Sun back in June, Holyfield claimed that the fight would be a way for him and Mike to make money. “We do it, make some money that we probably wouldn’t be able to make, so the big thing is finding something that we both can do that we understand that it’s not a fight,” said Holyfield. He went on to suggest that the fight would be a way of showcasing their skills. “It’s showing some kind skills…We’re not trying to kill each other,” said Holyfield.


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Decades after the disqualification in the 1987 Olympics, Evander ‘The Real Deal’ Holyfield reveals the actual reason why he did not protest against the unfair decision. However, we would like to get your thoughts on the matter – do you think Holyfield should have appealed the decision?

Watch This Story: 5 Intriguing Facts You Need To Know About Evander Holyfield

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Written by:

Sudeep Sinha


One take at a time

The first time boxing captured my attention, it was because of a line I heard in the film 'Rocky Balboa', a film surrounding boxing. The line went like this, "But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward.
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Edited by:

Arunima Bhanot