How the 'Omega Project' Got Holyfield Ready for Qawi – and, ultimately, Tyson Part 2


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“Tim was highly educated and he knew about a lot of things that I didn’t,” Holyfield said. “I wasn’t a guy who read a lot of books, but I was always interested in how things worked. I didn’t know about vitamins and nutrition, stuff like that. We were poor when I was growing up. All I knew was to eat whatever my mama put on the table.”

Relegated to the dust bin of an earlier era, the lessons Holyfield learned at the outset of the Omega Project reached full fruition the night of Nov. 9, 1996, when he dominated Tyson throughout en route to scoring an 11[SUP]th[/SUP]-round technical knockout at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand.

“My biggest satisfaction in boxing was when I beat Tyson (the “Bite Fight” disqualification victory would come on June 28, 1997) because so many people were talking about all the bad things he was going to do to me,” Holyfield said, the memory of it as warm and comforting as flaming logs in the fireplace on a cold winter evening. “They didn’t look at nothin’ that I accomplished compared to him. But I was more prepared for that fight than any fight I ever fought. I pretty much watched all of his fights from the time we were amateurs.”

If you connect the dots, they trace back a decade earlier to a notion and to Dwight Muhammad Qawi, cast in the role of Tyson Lite.

“June 12, 1986,” Benton, a 2001 inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame who was 78 when he died on Sept 19, 2011, said of the fight in which Evander Holyfield afforded the world at large a glimpse at all that he would someday become. “That’s when it all came together for Evander. That’s the day we knew we had something special.”

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