Larry Donald punches Evander Holyfield in the eighth round of the NABC Heavyweight Championship at New York's Madison Square Garden Saturday, Nov. 13, 2004. Donald won the fight by unanimous decision. (AP Photo/Chad Rachman)
NEW YORK Nov 13, 2004 — Evander Holyfield may have finally run out of reasons to keep fighting. If so, it appears he'll be the last one to admit it. The former heavyweight champion's sad decline continued Saturday night when he was dominated by a journeyman fighter who wouldn't have lasted six rounds with him during his prime.
Holyfield stood watching, unable to throw punches even when he saw openings, as Larry Donald jabbed his way to a lopsided 12-round decision that made the 42-year-old Holyfield's quest for the undisputed heavyweight title seem even more ridiculous than it already was.
Still, he refused to call it a career.
"I still feel that I can rise to the occasion so why not continue to pursue the dream," Holyfield said. "I've never given up on anything."
Fighting for the first time since taking a beating last year from James Toney, Holyfield once resembled the fighter who won the heavyweight title four times only in physique. He fell down while throwing a left hook 49 seconds into the fight, setting the tone for what would be a long night.
Holyfield won only one round from each ringside judge, and in the final round Donald added insult to injury by dancing in front of him and slamming left jabs and rights off of his head.
The fight preceded heavyweight title fights between IBF champion Chris Byrd and Jameel McCline and WBA champion John Ruiz and Andrew Golota at Madison Square Garden.
Holyfield, who now has won only twice in his last nine fights, was the sentimental favorite of the crowd, which chanted his name during the sixth round in a futile attempt to get him going.
Donald was content to land jabs to the head and throw an occasional right in the early rounds, but he soon became confident that Holyfield could not hurt him. His dominance was reflected in ringside punching stats, which showed Donald landing 216 of 643 punches to just 78 of 264 for Holyfield.
"There ain't no doubt I won," Donald said. "I won every round."
Donald, who had lost two of his last five fights and was knocked out by Vitali Klitschko two years ago, didn't give Holyfield the beating that Toney did but never gave him a chance to get into the fight, either.
The rounds quickly developed a familiar pattern as the fight went on, with Holyfield standing in front of Donald looking for openings that he seldom took advantage of. Donald piled up points as the rounds went on, and Holyfield wore a resigned look on his face toward the end of the fight.
"I felt good, better than the last time," Holyfield said. "When they raised his hand I considered maybe thinking this was it. But I fought better than last time, he just landed more. I saw all the shots coming."
Holyfield is now 38-8-2, while Donald is 42-3-2.
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.