Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas -- November 10, 2006
All photos ©
2006 by Lee Gruenfeld/Steeplechase Run, Inc.
Open air workout for the public, three days before the fight
Closed session the next day. Conditioning trainer Tim Hallmark
cools Evander down after the workout.
With the legend, Lou Duva, who was Evander's trainer for the
first twelve years of his career. Lou's fighter Oscar Diaz was
on the undercard.
Press conference in beautiful Sunset Station near the Alamodome.
With Red McCombs and opponent Fres Oquendo of Puerto Rico
Oquendo weighs in
With promoter Murad Muhammad
Evander's trainer Ronnie Shields inspects gloves that
will be used for the fight.
The day before the fight, we find some time to
work on the book. Evander looks more relaxed than I do,
and I'm not the one fighting.
(photo by Graham J. Higgins)
-- Fight night --
One of Evander's corner men and sparring partners,
heavyweight Adam "Swamp Donkey" Richards,
has the first bout of the night.
Barely working up a sweat, "Swamp" disposes of his opponent
by TKO 2:20 into the first round.
Back in the locker room
Relaxing. Still three hours to go...or so we thought.
The main bout was originally scheduled for 10:15 p.m.
but wouldn't start until almost 11:45.
The kids come to see Daddy fight.
They can hardly stand the excitement.
Last-minute strategy review with trainer Ronnie Shields.
Shadow boxing for the Fox Sports cameras
Taping the hands
Lacing up. Evander is watching the big screen television showing
Lou Duva's fighter Oscar Diaz getting pummeled up in the arena.
Amazingly, the kid went eleven rounds before the ref stopped it.
Stretching with Tim Hallmark.
"We had a good training camp. I'm not worried about anything."
Evander's robe. The biblical passage referred to is
"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ."
Taping the gloves in place
The boxing commission rep inspects the gloves and tape,
then signs them, just as he did the hand wraps.
After the fight they'll verify that they came back
the way they went out.
Hitting the hand pads.
Walking around the room to stay warm.
Word has come down: "Your opponent is nearing the ring."
Last minute adjustments.
The entourage splits in two as Evander
takes the solo walk in to the arena.
Smoothing down the Vaseline that's used to minimize impact cuts.
The crowd gets its money's worth as the fight goes the distance.
Awaiting the decision.
A unanimous decision for Evander.
The quest to regain the world championship continues.
And this is where
my camera ran out of juice after 235 photos,
so no shots in the locker room afterward.
A most splendid night indeed...
Coming from Simon &
Schuster, Fall 2007:
A Fighter's Journey
by Evander Holyfield and Lee Gruenfeld
To return to
LeeGruenfeld.com, click here.
For Cherie Gruenfeld and the Exceeding Expectations kids, click here.
For Evander Holyfield's website, click here.