Seamus McDonagh replaces Mike Tyson as the opponent for Evander Holyfield after a $ 25m pledge | Boxing news

Evander Holyfield stood in Seamus McDonagh's $ 25m payday

Evander Holyfield stood in Seamus McDonagh’s $ 25m payday

Seamus McDonagh never found out if the $ 25million pledge was real, and that doesn’t seem to be a concern, as fighting Evander Holyfield was the most honest moment of his boxing career.

The legendary actor laughs freely as he recounts his role as the Irish heavyweight in Atlantic City and worldwide No. 1.

He was not a boxer by choice, until persuaded by his father, not a heavyweight by choice, until he entered the top 10, not an opponent by choice, until he shouted the phone.

Mike Tyson’s resignation had begun with an emotional loss to James ‘Buster’ Douglas and suddenly there was a huge demand as he said Sky Sports.

Mike Tyson had suffered a dramatic loss to Buster Douglas

Mike Tyson had suffered a dramatic loss to Buster Douglas

“‘Do you want to fight Mike Tyson?’ I was like: ‘For one, I’m a cruisie weight, why would I fight Mike Tyson?’

“We said no, and then I got an offer to fight George Foreman.

“It was around the same time. I was like, ‘Three times my size?’ I said no.

“Then I got an offer to fight Holyfield. We said no. Why are those heavyweights for fighting me?”

McDonagh, the Meath County man who grew up boxing in Brooklyn, had spotted the biggest power brokers in the sport.

An offer to train alongside Mike Tyson had previously been made to McDonagh.

With teenager Tyson watching, McDonagh visited the home of famed coach Cus D’Amato, just to politely decline his coaching invitation after learning that sparring sessions would be without key guards.

McDonagh could have trained with a teenager Tyson

McDonagh could have trained with a teenager Tyson

“It would be a different life,” said McDonagh, who still won the Golden Gloves for the third time in a bid to win a personal award from Muhammad Ali.

A record of 19 wins, one draw and one loss meant McDonagh remained in the ranks among the best ships, but a big challenge for Holyfield changed everything.

“My manager Nick Baffi and I went to fight Holyfield vs Alex Stewart in Atlantic City.

“We were right with the ring and as (Holyfield promoter) Dan Duva walked away with Holyfield, my manager grabbed him and said: ‘Why don’t you fight Seamus next thing?’

“Dan looked at us and I think that put the idea in his head.

“The next thing we got the offer to fight Holyfield. We turned it off right away. I didn’t have enough experience. Who was I ever fighting for? Nobody was there.

“They came back to us a week later and said: ‘Yeah, but if you beat him, you’ll make $ 25million in your next fight.’ “

This big check and world title fight with Douglas, Tyson ‘s destroyer in Tokyo, would have been deposited for McDonagh if he had gotten past Holyfield in June 1990.

A pre-fight trip on the Atlantic City boardwalk almost ended accidentally as a car almost hit McDonagh.

“It was hilarious, to be exposed to car militant smoke before I got into the ring.”

But it wasn’t long before laughter and laughter replaced hard truth.

“I walked into the big field and thought, ‘woah.’

“Then it hit me, I’m fighting against 1 heavyweight in the world.

“I’m not even overweight, and I thought, ‘Nobody gets into it, just me.’

“For the first time in my life, I was completely honest.”

McDonagh offers his own explanation of the thoughts and feelings that covered him in the dressing room at the cavernous Assembly Hall.

“Fear does not mean fear. Fear is fear, fear is trembling, fear is thinking about anything that is not happening right now.

“The acronym for fear is false evidence appearing true. It is sensible to have ideas about what might happen.

“Fear is just thinking.

“Everyone’s scared.”

McDonagh's rampaging start resulted in two knockouts

McDonagh’s rampaging start resulted in two knockouts

Going out of his corner, McDonagh put hooks and uppercuts on his most formidable foe, just to send him to the canvas twice with sharp counters from Holyfield.

He sat in the second and third rounds, even lying on his right hand that almost spread the Holyfield mouth guard.

But a left hook put McDonagh down with the ropes in the fourth and referee Joe Cortez sent it off, regardless of the Irish ‘s objections.

“When he knocked me down, I remember lying on the canvas thinking, ‘If I lie here it will be over.’

“I could have stopped, but I didn’t. I was up at six, seven.

“All those people, they all stopped. Mike stopped on the ground against Buster Douglas. They’ve all stopped. Who didn’t quit? I almost stopped. I didn’t.”

Among the spectators who offered words of comfort was Donald Trump, who wanted to see more of McDonagh.

But he retired after losing his next fight.

Boxing discovered McDonagh again years later. Former sports writer Bobby Cassidy Jnr, who recounted McDonagh’s ring life career, asked him to be the main character in a play about his father, an Irish competitor called ‘Kid Shamrock’.

McDonagh has been in office ever since and other fighters like John Duddy, Mark Breland and Chris Algieri were together on stage, with former heavyweight champion Michael Bentt leading the team.

He has appeared in several other plays, receiving more praise for acting than fighting, and delivering a final smile with a good time when pressed about the weight of a different concert.

“It’s more paralyzing, boxing. Nothing compares to fear in boxing.”

Dedication to Rosaleen, mother of the late Seamus McDonagh.