With these ex-champs in trouble, it was refreshing to learn that straight arrow Evander Holyfield, the current boss of boxing's big men, was expected to designate Larry Holmes, the respectable 42-year-old grandfather and yet another former champ, as winner of this month's multimillion-dollar title-bout sweepstakes. This latest spin of the fight game's big wheel could put as much as $7 million under Holmes's mattress if he and Holyfield square off in May at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
The prospect of a Holyfield-Holmes match does not please George Foreman and Riddick Bowe. Holmes passed them in the race to fight Holyfield when he upset Ray Mercer on Feb. 7 in Atlantic City. Foreman, who is scheduled to meet Alex Stewart on April 11 in Las Vegas, had appeared to be the next designated hitter—or hittee—but he lost his place in line when he refused to give up a $5 million payday against the fading Stewart.
Bowe, a relative child at 24, is less well known than Holmes or Foreman, but he has a 28-0 record. Says Rock Newman, Bowe's manager, "Holyfield's people made us an offer [$6 million] they thought I would refuse, and I did. But Riddick said, Take the fight. When I called back, they told me they thought Holmes would be next."
Still, as of Sunday, Bowe had not been ruled out as Holyfield's next opponent. Not only would he come cheaper than Holmes, but there also is concern in the Holyfield camp that taking on another boxing elder so soon after Holyfield's victory over Foreman last April would put a nick in the champion's stature.
Although Tyson may be out of the picture, his patron, Don King, is not. Last Saturday night in Las Vegas, Razor Ruddock, the King-promoted fighter who was beaten twice by Tyson last year, scored a dismal eighth-round TKO against Greg Page, another former champion, whose chief crime is wasting his talent. So don't be surprised if the King-controlled World Boxing Council strips Holyfield of his title on some contrived charge, leaving Ruddock to fight Tommy Tomatocan for the vacant crown. The King isn't dead yet.
When I was growing up on the streets of America, I wanted to be a sports star. So like the other kids in the neighborhood, I would spend endless autumn afternoons at the biathlon rec center or at the bobsled playground, dreaming of perhaps becoming the next Klaus-Uschi Duesylmacher. But, alas, my athletic skills pointed me toward a rather undistinguished career in insurance underwriting, and today, like the rest of you, I mostly sit at home watching TV while using the commercial breaks to figure out if I can write off installation of my remote garage-door opener as a business-related entertainment expense.
Let's cut to the chase (if only the Winter Olympics had one): Every four years or so I wake up and everyone on television is figure skating.
The Winter Olympics are back, AND THEY WON'T GO AWAY.
"Share a moment with the world," CBS gently tells us. A moment? A moment? Hey, a moment is how long I listen to Paul E. Tsongas speak before I start humming Taps. The Olympics are not a moment, they are a miniseries. At least Rich Man, Poor Man was over in 12 hours.