Four-time world heavyweight champion boxer, Evander Holyfield, has opened up about how his faith in Jesus Christ helped him overcome a number of struggles over the course of his life.
With the nickname “The Real Deal,” he was the only boxer in history to win the undisputed championship in two different weight classes.
Mention the name Evander Holyfield and the first few things that may come to most people’s minds are: boxing champion, the ear-biting incident with Mike Tyson or maybe even headlines from tabloids that pick apart the four-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world. However, there is far more than what meets the eye when it comes to Evander Holyfield; he is nothing short of “The Real Deal.”
Despite his tremendous athletic success, Holyfield has experienced financial ruin and even doping allegations. But though his career has been storied, his faith, he says, has remained an anchor through it all, according to CBN News.
When asked him why he’s decided to be so outspoken about his faith, Holyfield didn’t have to think twice. He responded, “Because, without Jesus, I wouldn’t be who I am.”
“Without Jesus, I wouldn’t be who I am,” Holyfield told ChristianHeadlines.
Holyfield went on to credit his mother and grandmother for showing him tough love and always encouraging him to call on the name of Jesus.
“They (his Grandmother and mother) kept reminding me, ‘you’ve got to ask Jesus to help you,’” he recalled.
His faith in God and having a family that demonstrated the example of relying on Jesus set the foundation in his life that enabled him to not only overcome obstacles and adversity but to stay positive.
No matter what obstacles he has encountered – not even his ten losses that he refers to as “setbacks” – Holyfield insists that he tried to stay positive because God should be reflected in his actions.
He also revealed that he was using his platform in the world of boxing to fulfill his purpose, while crediting Jesus for every win and his success in life.
“I have a purpose to represent God, and I’m gonna represent Him in the best way I know how,” he said.
Acknowledging that he experienced a whole host of “setbacks,” — including having fights given to his white opponents when he was the clear winner — Holyfield insisted that his faith was the comfort and the foundation on which he built the rest of his career.
“I could have had an attitude,” he said of the early defeats. “But I learned that God had a hand in it.. he knew.”
“When all is said and done, I have a purpose to represent God and I’ve got to represent him the best way I know how.”
Reflecting on how God has impacted his character, Holyfield said he would often “ask the Holy Spirit” to point out where he has been off the mark.
“I learned to talk to the Holy Spirit.. ask ‘what do I do about this?’.. I found that useful.. going back to the father and asking him where I’ve gone wrong,” he said.