Evander Holyfield: Net worth, how he got there

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In November 2019, boxing legend and former undisputed heavyweight and cruiserweight champion Evander Holyfield was featured in a new CNBC series called "Back In The Game," a reality show hosted by baseball icon Alex Rodriguez that pairs former professional athletes who went broke with money mentors to get them back on their feet.

"What I really want Evander to understand is what is the value of his name and what he brings to the table," A-Rod said in the episode.

"His name is worth far more than he realizes."

Given what he accomplished in his boxing career, Evander Holyfield's net worth should be higher. Much higher.

Later in the same clip, A-Rod is seen walking with "The Real Deal" in New York City and offering him more advice and support.

"Evander, if you look around, I felt like you were just fighting at Madison Square Garden defending your title," Rodriguez told the fight legend.

"You're as famous today as you were when you fought. There's not one boxer active that has more brand equity than you. You're bringing so much to the table."

As the clip ends, Holyfield admits he's in a rough spot financially.

"It is hard to fall down," the former champ says," and I kind of feel like everything is too late."

Evander Holyfield (44-10-2-1NC, 29 KO's) is one of the greatest, most accomplished fighters ever and undoubtedly one of the most exciting. However, despite having earned an estimated $513 Million (£350 million) in his career, The Independent in 2012, described Holyfield as "flat broke and bankrupt."

Evander Holyfield: Net worth is humbling
According to NetWorthBuzz.com, Holyfield's estimated net worth in 2019 is roughly $500,000, far, far less than his accomplishments and fame would suggest. After all, he earned $30 Million, alone, in his 1997 rematch with Mike Tyson.

What happened?

Celebrities, especially athletes, often indulge when they are at the top of their game. As a result, they fail to save for a rainy day and get stuck with massive debt at an age where they can no longer compete at the highest levels.

... And Evander fell into that trap.

Many are critical of Holyfield and rightfully so. However, it's easier than most would think to blow a lot of money when you're generating ridiculous sums of cash... Especially when you're earning in excess of $20 Million per year for a bunch of years.

Holyfield Tyson I 160428480Holyfield  drops Mike Tyson in Round 6 of their first bout in 1996. Evander would go on to win via an 11th Round TKO to regain a share of the heavyweight title.

When you're making that much, the money spicket seems like it'll never run dry.

Moreover, he was still a young man (under 40) when he was generating millions and probably didn't have proper financial guidance.

Judge lightly because it could happen to you too.

High living
According to the New York Times, Holyfield's annual expenses for Christmas lights alone amounted to $16,000 back in the day. And per the same publication, it cost Evander $1 Million per year to simply maintain a previous residence.

Shady promoters and poor business deals
Two words... Don King.

Following Evander's magnificent upset knockout of Mike Tyson in 1996, the former was promoted by Don King, not the most transparent or scrupulous of people, for 5 or 6 years.

Holyfield Moorer II 242123Holyfield unifies the WBA and IBF heavyweight titles by TKOing Michael Moorer in 1997.

The fast-talking 'J.R. Ewing' of boxing from the 1970s to early 2000s, King is the most successful promoter ever and, perhaps, the most cut throat. Like the legendary P.T. Barnum before him, Don King was, and still is, the consummate businessman/showman/swindler.

King got results but many of his clients, fighters like Holyfield, Tyson, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Julio Cesar Chavez and Bernard Hopkins seemingly failed to read the fine print in his contracts.

In "Tyson," a 2008 documentary film about the life of former undisputed heavyweight world champion boxer Mike Tyson, the former fighter said of King, "(He is) a wretched, slimy, reptilian m**herf**ker. This is supposed to be my 'black brother' right? He is a bad man, a real bad man."

"He would kill his own mother for a dollar. He's ruthless, he's deplorable, he's greedy and he doesn't know how to love anybody."

Evander's 12 Kids
Shazam! Talk about child support... 12 kids is enough to drain anyone's wallet dry.

Pricey divorces
And three expensive divorces certainly didn't help the champ's financial situation.

Foreclosure
In June 2012, TMZ reported that Holyfield's 54,000 sq. ft. 234 acre mansion was sold for $7.5 million. But unfortunately, the former champ apparently didn't see much of that money because his home was foreclosed. The fight legend owed more than $14 Million USD on the home, according to the documents, and still owed close to half of that amount following the foreclosure and auction.

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And to make matters worse, any of the proceeds from the auction sale probably went to the IRS because Evander owed $200,000 worth of back taxes.

For reasons not known, the champ apparently did not petition for bankruptcy, either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Had he pursued that option, he would have had at least sought protection which would have likely imposed an automatic stay against his creditors.

But there's more.

Wage garnishment
In summer 2012, Evander was sued by the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) who represented his 18-year old daughter Emani. The DHS apparently petitioned the court to garnish Holyfield's wages as he owed a spine-jarring $372,097 in child support which had accumulated over the last eighteen years.

Holyfield nielsen 4055221 btHolyfield, at 49, wins his final pro bout by stopping Brian Nielsen in May 2011.

In the same year, Evander, sadly,put his 1984 Olympic Bronze Medal up for auction as well as the trunks he wore for his historic 1991 battle with George Foreman.

Down... But not out

A gentleman outside the ring and the consummate professional inside it, Evander Holyfield is a boxing legend who brought nothing but courage, decency and honor to his craft. Perhaps the "Real Deal" will secure a few more movie roles and endorsement opportunities.

A-Rod was right.... Evander still has value. He's a mainstream superstar who 'brings a lot to the table.'

Let's hope the champ can secure lucrative advertising and acting opportunities in order to resuscitate his career and help pay off some of his debt.

Advertising
By 1992, Holyfield was already a household name, endorsing multiple products on television, such as Coca-Cola and Diet Coke. He also had a video game released for the Sega Genesis and the Sega Game Gear: Evander Holyfield's Real Deal Boxing.

In 1996 Holyfield was given the opportunity to carry the Olympic torch when it was on its way to his hometown of Atlanta for that year's Olympics. October 4 of this year he was married to Dr. Janice Itson, with whom he had one child.

On September 22, 2007, Holyfield released the Real Deal Grill cooking appliance via TV infomercials. The Real Deal Grill is manufactured by Cirtran Corp. And in late 2007 and early 2008, Holyfield was among a number of celebrities to be doing television ads for the restaurant chain Zaxby's.

Television
Holyfield's popularity has led to numerous television appearances for the boxer.

1990 - Christmas special of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air 

1990s - Minor roles in Summer of Sam, Necessary Roughness, and Blood Salvage (which he also produced).

1994 - Guest appearance on Nickelodeon's Nickelodeon GUTS 

2005 - Holyfield came in fifth place on ABC's Dancing with the Stars with his partner Edyta Sliwinska.

2005 - Made an appearance on the original BBC Strictly Come Dancing "Champion of Champions" showdown.

2007 - Holyfield was confirmed to participate in a boxing match at World Wrestling Entertainment's Saturday Night's Main Event XXXV against Matt Hardy. 

2011 - Appeared as himself in the 2011 remake of Arthur.

2014 - Became the 12th housemate to enter the 13th series of Celebrity Big Brother 

2016 - Entered the Argentine dancing reality show Bailando 2016.

Evander Holyfield facts & stats

  • Net worth - $500,000 (estimated)
  • Entered International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2017
  • Won a bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics; Amateur Record: 160-14 with 75 KO
  • Pro Record: (44-10-2-1 NC, 29 KO)
  • Consensus fight legend
  • Was the first undisputed world Cruiserweight Champion
  • Was the first 4-time Heavyweight Champion
  • Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Year for 1990, 1996, & 1997
  • The Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year for 1987, 1996, & 1997
  • First fight with Riddick Bowe was The Ring Magazine Fight of the Year for 1992, and the 10th round was the Round of the Year.
  • Defeated Mike Tyson twice; Boasts wins over George Foreman and Riddick Bowe
  • Earned a career high $30 Million for Mike Tyson rematch in 1997
  • Final bout of his career was May 5, 2011; Evander, at 49, scored a 10th Round TKO of Brian Nielsen in Copenhagen, Denmark

Additional sources: Wikipedia, BoxRec, CNBC

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