A Visit To The Torture Chamber With Evander Holyfield And Nicolay Valuev

I didn’t fork over the $24.95 required to watch the heavyweight alphabet title fight featuring Evander Holyfield and Nicolay Valuev because I didn’t want to participate in the sorry spectacle — voting with my pocketbook and all — but after catching the bout on YouTube, I can tell you that it exceeded my imagination in the depths of its suckitude. Not only was it miserable, with no action to speak of, but it served its lack of entertainment with a side (or perhaps it was the main dish) of injustice, what with the way Holyfield deserved the win. And I use the word “deserved” loosely there, because he was awful; but when you win a fight, however hideously, you deserve to have the judges say you won it. With those two elements combined, it delivered on the “bad for the sport” bona fides I knew it had, and that anyone should have known it would have… it just was the “how” that surprised.

This takes the place of James Toney-Fres Oquendo for “Worst Decision of the Year Award.” It wasn’t as bad as I expected based on the reviews I’ve read. Still, even if a judge scored rounds for Valuev because he was the one moving forward, it’s more than a little charitable for two of them to have found it within their hearts to have given him the fight. It doesn’t take the “Worst Fight Award” away from Wladimir Klitschko-Sultan Ibragimov, which was still was a worse fight overall, as far as I’m concerned, because I give that heavyweight borefest (are we seeing a trend here?) extra demerits for mattering so much more than Holyfield-Valuev.

Masochists or curiosity-seekers, a clip of the fight starts above and the remainder of it is after the jump. I fell into the curiosity-seeker category, and let me tell you, it provided no payoff. I warn you, you probably really need a stronger motive, like being a glutton for punishment. (Note: There are some seconds missing from each clip, but a little playing around on YouTube can turn up the lost moments you are sure not to cherish.)

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.