The sale of Holyfield’s 12 bed/24 bath/45,000 square-foot mansion in Fayetteville, Georgia is making headlines right now, highlighting the waning fortunes of the former 4-time World Heavyweight Champion. Every news article on this story focuses on the scale and opulence of the 105 acre property. The mansion, built in 1994 when Holyfield was at the height of his fame, boasts America’s largest private pool, a two lane bowling alley, a 135 seat theater, a baseball field, tennis court, handball court, stables, indoor swimming pool, a boxing gym, three kitchens, dining room that seats 100, and… well, you get the picture. Holyfield once told a reporter that the 109 room behemoth costs around $1 million a year just to maintain. The current owners, JPMorgan Chase & Company, took over the property in 2012 after Holyfield went into foreclosure. They have put up the $7.5 million home up for auction yesterday (November 14, 2013) – bidding is set to start at $2.5 million. Evander Holyfield’s mansion is listed on Trulia as “Villa Vittoriosa”. Listing price is $7.89 million.
Regular readers of the Team Aguilar blog may remember a story I did last June where I looked at why so many pro-athletes who have earned millions throughout their careers often end up broke. Among the many riches-to-rags stories in that article, I cite the case of boxer Evander Holyfield. A titan in the ring, Holyfield made a name for himself in the boxing world, winning everything from Olympic Bronze in 1984, to the WBA, IBF and WBC championship belts on multiple occasions in both the cruiser-weight and heavyweight divisions. To this day he remains the only 4 time World Heavyweight Champion in the history of the sport. I even had the Evander Holyfield Sega Genesis game as a kid!
Evander Holyfield’s lifetime earnings, as of 2009, were estimated to be $250 million. Keep in mind Holyfield kept fighting until 2012, at which point he finally announced his retirement. Despite a quarter of a billion Dollar career earnings, Holyfield, like so many of his peers, is broke. In Holyfield’s case the problem was apparently his extended family – he has 12 children with 6 different women. According to Wikipedia, Holyfield pays an average of $3,000 a month per child in child-support. He also is reported to owe huge amounts of unpaid back taxes.
While Holyfield refutes all claims he is broke, he has been forced to auction off his jewelry, furniture and boxing memorabilia to pay off debt.