But now, it seems the fight legend has had a change of heart.
"I already told people I was going to retire, but this morning, when I woke up, I thought about it some more and now I'm not going to retire," Holyfield told Sports on Earth.
"Boxing is what I do best. It's what I know."
Lineal heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitchko and his brother, WBC belt-holder Vitali, insist they wont give Holyfield a title shot because they like him. Its presumed the Klitschko brothers believe they'd hurt the legend at this stage of his career.
But its quite arguable Evander Holyfield is better than two of their recent opponents, Jean Marc Mormeck and Manuel Charr. As a matter of fact, Holyfield would probably be favored over both fighters head-to-head.
"They (Klitschko brothers) won't fight me. They have the right. If I can't get the championship fight then I'll continue to wait. Somebody is going to beat them at some point and then I'll fight that winner."
"I can beat them. I feel I can beat anyone," he stated.
Last year, prospects for Evander Holyfield vs WBA 'Regular' Heavyweight Champion Alexander Povetkin looked strong but negotiations apparently fizzled.
Although Holyfield hasn't held at least a share of the world heavyweight title since 2000, he's a respectable 6-2-0-1NC with 3 KOs since 2006. Moreover, his only loses were via decision to then WBO heavyweight champion Sultan Ibragimov (then 21-0-1) in 2007, a top 5 heavyweight at the time, and a year later to Nikolay Valuev who was the reigning WBA heavyweight champion at that time.
Holyfield was competitive is losing to Ibragimov and, by nearly all accounts, was robbed terribly in his majority decision loss to Valuev. In actuality, he should be 7-1-0-1NC over the last 6 years.
Many pundits and fans are begging for Holyfield to finally hang 'em up... But perhaps they are making judgments based on his age instead of his performances?
Evander Holyfield Highlights