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Boxing great Evander Holyfield says he's not retiring

posted 20 Oct 2012, 04:20 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 20 Oct 2012, 04:21 ]

Heavyweight boxing champ Evander Holyfield says "retiring is the easy way out" at his 50th birthday party.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIAUNITED STATES (OCTOBER 19, 2012) (REUTERS) -  Heavyweight boxing great Evander Holyfield was the night's star at his 50th birthday celebration and auction viewing in Beverly Hills on Friday (October 19).

The former heavyweight and cruiserweight world champion, remembered for famous battles with Mike TysonRiddick Bowe and Lennox Lewis, was reportedly expected to announce his retirement from the sport at his birthday bash, but has since changed his mind.

"Retiring is the easy way out," he said. "I figured I'd give it some more time and not be what a kid is like. A kid, when they get frustrated with what they do, they quit. In reading that the Klitschkos don't want to fight me, my first thought was just to quit. I'm going to give it some time. Give it some time, wait it out and see what happens."

Holyfield has publicly stated his strong desire to fight either of the Klitschko brothers, Vitali or Wladimir, who currently hold all the world heavyweight titles between them.

Holyfield's illustrious professional career boasts a record of 44-10-2 with 29 knockouts. He holds five heavyweight titles and was part of the 1984 U.S. Olympic team that earned nine gold medals. The boxing champ's most recent fight was last May, in which he beat out Denmark's Brian Nielsen in the 10th round on a technical knockout.

Items from the auction include Holyfield's 1984 Olympic bronze medal and numerous championship belts, trophies and rings. The boxer says he's selling just some of his memorabilia because the world needs to see what he's accomplished and he's saving the rest for his grandchildren.

"At this point in time, these are the things that I've collected in my career and I just need to pass some of them onto my grandkids. Now my kids won't get any, but my grandkids will get the things. I don't want to take away their goal by giving them my stuff. For them to say, 'this is what they've done,' you ain't did nothing, you got to do it yourself. Each generation has got to be better."

The auction will be held on November 30.