Evander Holyfield's mansion under foreclosure
Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield is facing mounting financial and legal woes.
Holyfield's $10 million US estate in suburban Atlanta is under foreclosure, the mother of one of his children is suing for unpaid child support, and a Utah consulting company has gone to court claiming the boxer failed to pay for more than half a million dollars for landscaping.
A legal notice that ran Wednesday in a small newspaper in Georgia said Holyfield's estate will be auctioned off "at public outcry to the highest bidder for cash" at the Fayette County courthouse on July 1.
The 5,000-square-metre home — located on Evander Holyfield Highway — has 109 rooms, including 17 bathrooms, three kitchens and a bowling alley.
Holyfield defaulted on a $10 million loan to Washington Mutual Bank, which will auction off his home on the courthouse steps.
The child support case involves Holyfield's 10-year-old son, whose mother, Toi Irvin, was initially awarded $2,000 a month in support. A flight attendant, she lost her job when airlines downsized in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, prompting her to return to court to ask for an increase.
In 2003, a Fayette County jury increased the payment to $3,000 after hearing evidence that Holyfield's gross monthly income was $604,000, while Irvin was bringing in less than $2,600 a month.
Holyfield's handlers allegedly told her that he will no longer be able to make the support payments. Irvin said he has already missed two payments, so she has gone to court seeking restitution.
"My concern is there may be a lot of other mothers not be getting paid, and I would like my client to be at front of the line," said Randy Kessler, Irvin's lawyer.
Kessler said Thursday evening that he has yet to hear from Holyfield's lawyer and hopes to go before a judge in 30 days. He will request the boxer, who has 11 children, be jailed if he doesn't pay up.
"This is such a small amount given the scope of what he has," Kessler said. "If Evander Holyfield can get away with it, anybody can. There are guys making $15,000 a year who go to jail for missing a $100 payment."
Meanwhile, a federal lawsuit was filed two weeks ago in Utah seeking repayment of $550,000 in loans allegedly made to Holyfield to pay for landscaping on his 95-hectare estate.
Holyfield didn't return a message left on his cellphone. His attorney, Frederick Gardner, did not respond to an e-mail nor a call to his Atlanta office.
Holyfield, 45, fought in October in Moscow, losing a unanimous decision to Sultan Ibragimov for the World Boxing Organization title.
Holyfield has won just six of his last 14 bouts (6-6-2) and was placed on medical suspension by the New York State Athletic Commission after a one-sided loss in 2004.
Despite the loss to Ibragimov, Holyfield said at the time he wasn't considering retirement.
Known as the Real Deal, Holyfield won a bronze medal in the 1984 Olympics and dominated as a cruiserweight before making the move up to heavyweight, were he knocked out James (Buster) Douglas in 1990 to win the championship.
He lost his undefeated record and the title in 1993 to Riddick Bowe, but regained it twice more in his career, including with a memorable upset of Mike Tyson in 1996. In the rematch several months later, Tyson was disqualified for biting off a portion of Holyfield's ear, which was later re-attached.
Holyfield has grossed over $200 million US in his career.