ESPN History

#TBT: Evander Holyfield

Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield are seen backstage at the 1997 ESPY Awards. (Anita and Steve Shevett)
Muhammad Ali (l) and Evander Holyfield backstage at the 1997 ESPYS. (Anita and Steve Shevett)

Today, five-time heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield visits ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus for a Car Wash. “Real Deal’s” visit prompted Front Row to search the vaults for the vintage photo posted above of boxing greats Muhammad Ali and Holyfield “squaring off” at the 1997 ESPYS in New York City.

Maura Mandt, current ESPYS executive producer, was the associate producer at that time. That year Muhammad Ali received the Arthur Ashe Award – a presentation organized, in part, by Mandt.

“The great thing about the ESPYS is it allows past and present athletes to come together,” she said. “The event is as much fun for the athletes as it is for the fans. They are fans of each other and the ESPYS provides a place for them to get together.”

Next week from Las Vegas, ESPN will have extensive coverage surrounding the Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao welterweight unification fight on Saturday, May 2.

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