Holyfield shows faith, wants to return to ring

June 13, 1994|By New York Daily News

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Evander Holyfield said that his heart damage has been cured by a faith healer and that he will resume his boxing career.

A front-page story in the Philadelphia Inquirer described Holyfield, a born-again Christian, attending three services last week at the Philadelphia Civic Center and having an Orlando, Fla., faith healer, Benny Hinn, lay hands on him and proclaim to 9,000 believers:

"The Lord is telling me right now He is repairing Holyfield's heart completely."

Holyfield, the 31-year-old two-time champion, retired days after losing the title to Michael Moorer when it was disclosed that he had a "stiff" heart, or a non-compliant left ventricle that deprived the heart of adequate amounts of oxygen for strenuous activity.

Holyfield, the Inquirer reported, experienced "a warm feeling" go through his chest after Hinn touched him. The fighter collapsed into the arms of an usher, then lay down on the stage. "I was searching for a reason to come back, but the right reason," he said. "I know I can go back and win, but win for the Lord. I'm healed."

During one of the three meetings, Holyfield pledged $265,000 to underwrite Hinn's crusade, which drew 23,000 for three nights in Philadelphia. Hinn promised Holyfield that the Lord would return the blessing and allow him to earn another $200 million in the ring. He also said his ministry would provide the divorced Holyfield, who earned a record $102 million in boxing, with a wife because "he's got five children who need a mother."

Meanwhile, Randy Gordon, chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission, said Holyfield would have to pass serious physicals "anywhere he applied." James Binns, former chairman in Pennsylvania, agreed. "If he is healed," said Gordon, "I've got a bum knee I'd like looked at."

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