“Styles Make Fight”: Jai White Makes His Pick Between Prime Muhammad Ali and Prime Evander Holyfield if They Would Have Fought

Published 12/11/2023, 5:35 AM EST

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There’s no martial arts or combat system over which Michael Jai White doesn’t have any mastery or lacks knowledge. The Hollywood actor and director has dedicated his life to learning world-renowned styles. Be it the art or the way of the ’empty hand,’ or the one that incorporates kicks, or even the one with gloves. Most of his movies or television series, such as ‘Never Back Down,’ showcase his prowess in multiple disciplines.

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The New York-born former special education teacher sat down with the interviewer and former disc jockey, DJ VLAD. The two discussed a range of issues and matters. It has now been uploaded on YouTube by the Kyiv-born interviewer’s VLAD TV. One particular segment had Jai White sharing his thoughts about the previous guest, Evander Holyfield. In between the interviews, he revealed how he had a strange connection with the boxing legend. Soon, he also shared what would have happened if ‘The Real Deal’ had gone against boxing’s greatest. Both, in their prime.

‘The Real Deal’ testing ‘The Greatest’

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DJ VLAD asked, “Let me ask you a question: Ali in his prime versus Holyfield in his prime?” The question surely surprised Michael Jai White. It took him some time to get his bearings, and he said, “Ali would have the big big-time advantage.

The former disk jockey asked for a reason. The Hollywood actor-director replied that his weight and mobility would have given Muhammad Ali an advantage over Evander Holyfield. ‘The Real Deal’ boasted a fantastic ring IQ besides enjoying widespread acclaim as one of boxing’s finest counter-fighters. Michael Jai White then took up what Holyfield had previously said about styles making fights. Hence, if he had fought someone matching Ali in skills, then the outcome might have been different.

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Michael Jai White said, “Oh, the weight, weight mo mobility, uh, that kind of stuff. He’s a bigger bigger guy um Holyfield was just smart. He was one of the best counter fighters, but you know, like Holyfield said, Styles make fights. If I’d seen Holyfield fight somebody who was like an Ali in his prime, I think I would it would help out a little bit more.” Then, to illustrate his point, he took the example of Riddick Bowe, against whom ‘The Real Deal’ went three times.

Jai White continued, “…like, um like of course Holyfield just had the heart to fight a a Riddick Bowe, but Ric Bowe, think about a Riddick Bowe moving around; that’d be pretty hard to deal with.” DJ VLAD also added how the ‘Bid Daddy’ had won two of the three outings with Evander Holyfield.

In Michael Jai White’s view, there were hardly any boxers who could flaunt as much agility or mobility as Muhammad Ali could.

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Nothing, but the best

It remains a fact. For a man of his height and weight, Ali’s ability to move, strength, and overall athleticism were far too prodigious for a heavyweight. An often ignored feature of Ali’s boxing prowess remains his chin. But as a boxer, he crossed paths with some of the strongest and most vicious heavy hitters, such as Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Ken Norton, and Earnie Shavers. Last but certainly not least. How many boxers or sportspersons in history could match the way Muhammad Ali came back? That too, after a layoff that lasted three years.

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What would be your take—a prime Muhammad Ali versus a prime Evander Holyfield? Who do you think would have won? Please share your views with us in the comments below.

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Written by:

Jaideep R Unnithan

1,382Articles

One take at a time

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Edited by:

Arijit Saha

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