Holyfield Cleared Of Heart Problems For Tyson FightTIM DAHLBERG , Associated Press
Sep. 14, 1996 1:31 AM ET
LAS VEGAS (AP) _ If Evander Holyfield isn't healthy enough to fight Mike Tyson, no one is.
That was the conclusion of Nevada boxing regulators, who cleared Holyfield for his Nov. 9 fight against Tyson after he produced a clean bill of health from the Mayo Clinic.
Boxing commissioners dismissed concerns about the condition of Holyfield's heart after a medical exam at the Mayo Clinic turned up nothing to indicate a heart problem.
``If we deny this man a license, we can't license anybody,'' said Dr. Charles Ruggeroli, a physician for the Nevada Athletic Commission. ``Nobody has had the extensive testing of his heart that Evander has.''
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the 33-year-old former heavyweight champion for the fight based on Mayo Clinic tests that included everything from a spine evaluation to a complete neurological exam.
Aside from some evidence of past tendinitis in his left shoulder, Holyfield was judged to be in excellent health with no cardiac problems.
``All of his tests have always come back excellent,'' Ruggeroli said. ``In terms of his heart, he comes out in the 99.9 percentile.''
Commissioners did, however, decide to send a doctor to Houston on two occasions before the fight to observe Holyfield's training for the WBA title fight.
That was because of concerns over problems Holyfield disclosed after losing to Michael Moorer and Riddick Bowe.
After the Moorer fight, Holyfield complained he had hurt a shoulder in training. In the last Bowe fight, in which he was knocked out, he said he had a virus and couldn't train for three weeks.
``I have problems that two different excuses were given after those fights,'' commission chairman Dr. James Nave said. ``That's not fair to anybody.''
Holyfield's lawyer, Jim Thomas, said he had no problem with the commission monitoring the boxer's training for the fight, which will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
``Evander felt he made a mistake going into the Bowe fight not in top condition,'' Thomas said. ``He has no intent of fighting again unless he is 100 percent.''
In the last Bowe fight, Holyfield appeared to tire in the last half of every round before finally being knocked out in the eighth round. He last fought when he stopped Bobby Czyz this year.
Holyfield's heart has been a concern since he lost the heavyweight title to Moorer in April 1994. He was diagnosed then as having a non-compliant left ventricle, which is manifested by severe fatigue, and a small hole between the upper chambers of his heart.
He later said he had been diagnosed with a disease that can attack the lungs and heart, but then proclaimed himself cured by a faith healer.
Commission doctor Flip Homansky said the tests since that time have shown no sign of any type of heart disease other than an atypical EKG reading that is usually associated with black males of his age.
``The data is still conflicting and has never been reproduced,'' Homansky said.