Evander Holyfield's search for motivation in the wake of two megafights against Mike Tyson didn't last long. He found it in the last 10 seconds of his first fight with Michael Moorer.
It was then Moorer raised his arms in victory three years ago and seemed to mock the proud Holyfield. It was then Holyfield really wanted to fight _ something he admittedly didn't do much of during the previous 11-plus rounds.
"As bad as I felt that whole fight, the one time I got excited was when the match was almost over and he raised his hands," Holyfield recalled. "That made me angry. I couldn't believe he raised his hands after not doing anything in the fight.
"If I had only had one more minute with him "
Holyfield didn't have another minute, and in a few more minutes he didn't have the WBA and IBF heavyweight belts he had worn into the ring.
Fighting with a sore left shoulder, and soon to be beset by talk about heart problems, Holyfield had coasted through the fight hoping to win, only to lose a majority 12-round decision. He gets another chance in Saturday night's rematch with Moorer, and he can't wait.
"I felt bad because I did it to myself," Holyfield said. "I beat myself that last fight. If he wasn't doing anything in the ring, I did nothing. It never dawned in my head what I was doing, but I got frustrated because he was a guy who didn't come in to win."
The loss not only cost Holyfield the heavyweight titles he had won back in a bruising fight with Riddick Bowe in his previous bout, it appeared to end his career.
A few days later, he was in an Atlanta hospital diagnosed with heart problems and about to retire from boxing. The talk was that Holyfield got hit far too much and didn't have the reflexes left to compete.
Nevada boxing regulators were so concerned about Holyfield's health that they made him go to the Mayo Clinic, which found no evidence of heart trouble, before relicensing him to fight Tyson last November.
DURAN TRAINS: Former world champion Roberto Duran has been training at a North Carolina gym for three weeks in preparation for his next fight. But he has even bigger plans, including a possible rematch with Sugar Ray Leonard.
The 46-year-old Duran is scheduled to fight Patrick Goosen of Hollywood, Calif., on Nov.
15 in South Africa. Duran and his handlers say the fight is part of the buildup for a possible fight with Leonard next year _ "If there is good money," Duran said.
McCALL WINS: Former WBC heavyweight title holder Oliver McCall made a triumphant return to the ring with a technical knockout of Bryan Yates in the eighth round in Nashville, Tenn.
The fight was stopped at the 1:36 mark when Yates (15-6) went down after a series of jabs from McCall. Earlier in the round, the Indianapolis native lost his mouthpiece after a barrage of uppercuts and hooks to the head by McCall.
WHITAKER REPORTEDLY SUSPENDED: The promoter for Pernell Whitaker said his fighter, who tested positive for cocaine prior to a fight last month, has been suspended for 30 days pending an appeal. Whitaker is disputing the findings.
WITHERSPOON WINS: Tim Witherspoon, trying to position himself for a shot at a third heavyweight title, needed less than two minutes to knock out Levi Billups at Robinsonville, Miss., in his first bout in nearly a year.