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Mansfield Magazine

Former Boxing Great 'Hits' Up Alternative Education Center

Jul 16, 2015 04:40PM ● By Kevin

Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield, five-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world, made a visit to Mansfield ISD Tuesday to give some inspiration to students at the Alternative Education Center (AEC).

Holyfield spread the message that life's circumstances does not have to get in the way with anyone's goals—a lesson he said he learned firsthand.

"As a kid, I was told I wasn't going to be anything," said Holyfield. "I got an opportunity to go to a boys club, and without the boys club, I wouldn't be who I am today."

The former boxer spoke to student in the Accelerated Classroom Environment (ACE) and Behavior Intervention Center (BIC) programs. Although he told stories about his childhood and the beginnings of his career, he wanted students to take away an important life lesson.

"Listen, follow directions, and don't quit because those are the three things that are necessary to be successful in anything you want to be," said Holyfield. 

Holyfield posing with BufukuAEC junior Lamont Bufuku got the chance to present a special gift to the legendary boxer before the event began. He gave Holyfield a portrait that he worked hard to create.

"It was pretty cool,” said Bufuku. “My dad actually told me about him and I watched some of his fights, so I was like, ‘Okay. I’ll draw him!’”

Holyfield focuses his energy on philanthropy now that he is retired from boxing. He is founder of Team Holyfield, a foundation with the mission to create and sustain relationships with individuals, companies and organizations that support altruism, community relations and humanitarian efforts.

"The true meaning of appreciation is to give back," Holyfield noted.

Information provided by Mansfield ISD's news archives. For the original story, click here.

Evander Holyfield Visits AEC

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