The ill will that marked the former champions’ rivalry was nowhere in sight. Instead, they were like old friends meeting in a supermarket, which is exactly what they did on Saturday.
Hard to believe those words came from the man who bit off a piece of Holyfield’s ear during a fight, but the former “Baddest Man On The Planet” is showing a different side.
He’s baring his soul on stage, documenting his rise from Brooklyn’s streets to the heavyweight championship and subsequent fall from grace. It’s all there, from his drug use to his relationships to ex-wife Robin Givens, new wife Kiki, promoter Don King, trainer Cus D’Amato and, of course, a rape conviction that left him behind bars for three years in the 1990s.
He’s taking it to 36 cities after a run on Broadway. Saturday night was the second of two scheduled performances in Chicago. And before he hit the stage, he hit the supermarket.
He wrapped Holyfield in a big hug and was all smiles as they chatted and posed for pictures, the fans going wild the whole time.
“The show is good,” said Holyfield, who saw it in Las Vegas. “The show is showing his way of coming back, being able to come to an agreement, come to an acknowledgment of what he’d done good and what he’d done wrong and to get over it. When people don’t get past their problems, they never come to an understanding.”
What did Holyfield think of the parts that involved him?
“I think he was letting people know that he was wrong and what happened, happened,” he said. “He appreciates that I forgave him. He’s forgiven himself. That’s how you make adjustments in life.”
The 50-year-old Holyfield would still like one more title fight against one of the Klitschko brothers, either Wladimir or Vitali. But unless one of them has a change of heart and agrees to it, his career is over.
“Now that it’s confirmed that the Klitschkos really don’t want to do it, that’s it,” Holyfield said. “I’m not trying to go back and fight someone 24, 25. But the Klitschkos being 37, 38, that’s my age.”
In his mind, it even turned that infamous bite into something positive “because love and forgiveness is involved.”