Two aging warriors put their boxing futures at risk in a do or die slugfest in front of 6,000 fans last night at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, TX, and after ten rounds, Evander Holyfield stood in the winner's circle for the 42nd time over the course of a 22 year career.
Opponent Lou Savarese gave "The Real Deal" all he could handle for much of the fight, uncorking heavy uppercuts that rammed home against the "head first" style of Holyfield and forcing the former world champion to abandon his plan to crowd the native Texan.
But the class of Holyfield began to show through as early as the fourth frame when a surprisingly fast combination caught Savarese flush and dumped the Houston man on the canvas.
The 41 year old Savarese regained his composure and went back to work, battling Holyfield in a genuine give and take battle over the middle rounds.
In the ninth, Holyfield seemingly turned back the clock with a whipping left hook that hammered his rival with full power, hurling Savarese heavily to the floor.
Savarese refused to stay down and beat the count before managing to finish the bout despite the best efforts of Holyfield.
The cards were tallied and the 44 year old Atlanta based veteran wins his fourth straight contest, winning the bout 99-87, 98-90 and 96-91, improving to 42-8-2 (27) while the big hearted Savarese drops to 46-7 (38).