EVANDER HOLYFIELD revealed a sparring session with an up and coming Andy Ruiz Jr made him realise he was too old to fight.
The heavyweight legend, now 58, believes the spar took place in 2009, though Ruiz recalls it happening in 2011, Holyfield’s final year in boxing.
Holyfield’s last fight was against Brian Nielsen when he was 48, but a few rounds with future heavyweight champion Ruiz, who was a couple years into his career, was all he needed to confirm retirement was overdue.
He told told Pro Boxing Fans: “When I sparred that guy Ruiz and when he was 19-years-old he was able to tag me when I was 46 and I knew then.
“I don’t pass my age range where it no longer makes sense to get like that by somebody you think you should be able to beat, because experience and all this, but he had speed and I was losing speed.”
Holyfield is considering making a sensational comeback, but stresses it will only be in exhibition bouts for charity.
The two-division champ is seeking opponents a similar age and ability as him, with old rival Mike Tyson, 54, also returning to the ring last year to fight Roy Jones Jr.
Holyfield said: “The thing is I wouldn’t be in the ring if I couldn’t defend myself and I wouldn’t get in the ring with nobody I believe would beat me up either.
“So pretty much, the people I aspire to get in the ring with are people my age and who are probably older than me, fighting wise anyway.
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“It’s got a strategy about which you do when you’re going to do things so if the person does get whose advantage it is.
“It’s probably going to be to my advantage and this is how I’m looking at it.
“I would never really get in the ring with anyone I don’t believe I can win.”