If retired heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield’s next-gen fitness plan from 35 years ago was worthy of its name “Omega Project”, then his son Evan Holyfield’s sports cognition training program should probably be called something like “Project Z”.
Because where the elder Holyfield’s training methods were cutting edge stuff back then, the neuro-fitness regimen his son is doing through a company called Reflexion makes all that stuff seem like ancient history.
“Not everybody has this opportunity,” Evan Holyfield told Heavy, and he’s right.
Almost nobody in the sport of boxing has access to technology like this.
Evan Holyfield, 23, from Atlanta, Georgia, made his pro boxing debut in 2019.
Promoted by the same Main Events boxing promotional company that helped guide his father’s success, “Yung Holy” is already 5-0 with 4 KOs.
While Evan Holyfield’s bloodline is certainly something that opens doors for him and also gives him a special type of athleticism that can only be inherited, Evan Holyfield believes pioneering the technology Reflexion provides him is something that will help the prospect stand out amongst his peers.
“I believe it’s the future. It’s something really innovative, and it’s something I’d never seen before,” said Evan Holyfield.
According to the press release about the product distributed back in December 2020, Reflexion uses a state-of-the-art touchscreen lightboard powered by cloud-based technology and data analytics to accelerate and strengthen cognitive processes and skills such as peripheral vision, decision making, reaction time, and hand-eye coordination.
Evan Holyfield wants to give himself every possible chance to carve out his own legacy.
Like his father before him, the fighter said he’ll also forever remain open to new ideas and methods.
“There’s a whole other level to this game, especially intellectually. So why not use that to my advantage? It’s cutting edge stuff,” Evan Holyfield said.
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The Holyfield Advantage
Evan Holyfield admitted living up to the Holyfield name could be challenging at times but that’s part of what makes the journey so special.
His father, Evander Holyfield, earned the bronze medal in the light heavyweight division for the U.S. in the 1984 Olympics, and he became the first fighter from that U.S. boxing team to win a world championship as a professional. Evander Holyfield went on to become an undisputed champion in two divisions: cruiserweight and heavyweight, as well as the first fighter since Muhamad Ali to capture heavyweight gold at least three times.
By the end of his storied career, Evander Holyfield was one of the most popular and accomplished champions in boxing history.
“I want to live up to my own name. It doesn’t intimidate me. It pushes me to want to do more,” Evan Holyfield said.
So being the son of a boxing legend is a difficult path to take but Evan Holyfield said he’s accustomed to it by now.
“Nothing great comes easy. Everybody always wants to mess with me, especially when you’re also a boxer and have the last name. Everybody is always going to come to try to fight you their hardest no matter what,” Evan Holyfield said.
Besides, having the path laid before him already is also beneficial in many ways.
“I understand that my dad has been on a bigger stage than I’ve ever been on. I understand that if I want to get up there, I have to go through the same thing he did. You’ve got to go through something hard to do something great,” Evan Holyfield.
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‘Hey, How’s Your Dad?’
Evan Holyfield said people always ask him about his father, but that he never really gets sick of it.
“When you’re younger, and you go over to your family’s house, or even to some of your friends’ house, what’s the first question they ask you? ‘How are your parents?’ So it just kind of feels like that,” Evan Holyfield said.
Besides, Evan Holyfield also knows there are plenty of people in the world who have way worse situations.
“At least I know that people always care about my dad. They care about his well-being just as much as I do. It’s never anything I get frustrated over. It just kind of comes with the territory,” said Evan Holyfield.
Holyfield Lives and Trains in Atlanta
Evan Holyfield said he was happy to be living and training back in Atlanta again this year after a brief stay in Houston.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Evan Holyfield said.
Now, Evan Holyfield is back home where it all started. He’s currently trained by “Sugar” Bert Wells, who trained him during his amateur days, as well as Mark Breland.
Breland was a member of the same 1984 Olympic team as Evander Holyfield. Breland captured gold in the welterweight division for the U.S., and the fighter went on to win a world title as a professional.
“All of us are like-minded…it really pushes me because I know what I want to be. The people around me want to see me do great things,” said Evan Holyfield.
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