Saturday night was a tough one for me. One of my best friends in this world is a professional boxer. I met Lou Savarese about 20 years ago when I was working as a "sportsmedicine" trainer for the now defunct Houston Boxing Association. This was my former life prior to medical school but Lou and I still regularly speak to each other three to four times a week. We are the same age and have a lot of things in common, including losing our fathers way too early in life.
Lou is a gentleman and a honest athlete. He has fought the best and though he may not have won those fights, he was always classy and respectful. I was in the ring with him for the Tyson fight in Scotland and saw first hand the punishment these athletes can take. Check out the little guy in this video.
The sport of boxing has always had a bad reputation. The tomato cans, the alphabet soup organizations, the set-ups, the phantom punches and the questionable judging are only tips of many not so hidden icebergs. Lou has always threatened to write a book "All the things you didn't want to know about boxing" and if he did the world would be amazed.
The biggest plague now in this ludicrous sport is steroids and growth hormone. Recently James Toney got caught using steroids in his win over Danny Batchelder. The funny thing is that Batchelder was also found to be positive. Maybe they should change the rules so that the guy with the least amount of steroids in his bloodstream should win? Even more astounding is that Toney was found guilty in 2005 as described in this USA Today piece. Back then he cried about his innocence and was suspended for 90 days. You have got to be kidding me! These guys only fight twice a year at most. Now what will boxing do to punish him? Exactly what they will do to fix the other problems in the sport...nothing.
This leads me back to my friend. Lou fought Evan Fields last night. Lou, who is 6'5 and 242, could easily be 300 pounds if he was on the juice and/or growth hormone. Instead, he has been nothing but ethical in an unethical profession. If Lou was a cheater, the uppercut he hit Evan with in the third round may have killed him instead of just stunning him. On the other hand, his opponent Evan Fields....ooops...Evander Holyfield has been found to have links to the most recent raid on an illicit steroid distribution network.
Here is a piece from that ESPN.com article:
SI.com reported that the name "Evan Fields" appeared on law enforcement documents reviewed by the Web site in connection with the Mobile investigation. SI.com dialed a phone number associated with "Fields" that was listed on one of the documents, and Holyfield answered the call. "Fields" listed birth date in the document -- Oct. 19, 1962 -- also is the same as Holyfield's.
According to SI.com, the individual who authorities believe to be Holyfield picked up prescriptions that came from Applied Pharmacy. According to records reviewed by SI.com, Holyfield picked up vials of testosterone, two vials of Glukor (a drug believed to be used during and after steroid cycles) and injection supplies. Less than a week later, according to the document, he picked up five vials of Saizen, a brand of HGH, and related supplies.
Evander won a 10 round decision over Lou. He knocked him down twice but Lou would not quit showing the world he has incredible heart. Evan, age 44, looked like he was 24 and one has to wonder why.
The media leading up to this fight never questioned Evander anymore about his link to the steroid investigation. And what did the Texas Boxing Commission do after the fight? Nothing! There was no blood or urine test taken in the locker room after they left the ring.
Where is the media now? Why does Evan Fields or Evander Holyfield get a pass? Because boxing has a reputation to keep up....even though it is a bad one at that.