Former professional boxer Evander Holyfield, nicknamed “The Real Deal”, proved that he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the legendary Muhammad Ali after breaking his record of winning the heavyweight title three times. Holyfield, who fought in the light, cruiser, and heavyweight classes throughout his career and was the only boxer in history to win the undisputed championship in two weight classes, won the heavyweight title four times in record time.
But while the Alabama-born boxer was praised by the world for his skill in the ring, he also gained fame for several scandalous episodes in his life, including divorce battles. Here is a look at Holyfield’s married life and the alimony fights that led him to bankruptcy.
Evander Holyfield Fact Card
Evander Holyfield Marriages and Why They Failed
Details from the personal life of Evander Holyfield would make a very interesting story. For the man was married and divorced three times and had a total of eleven children by several women.
Paulette Bowen (1985-1991)
Holyfield first married a woman identified as Paulette Bowen on 17 May 1985. The couple had been dating for a long time and were already living together before they decided to form the alliance. In fact, Paulette already had a child for the boxer and was about five months pregnant with her second child when they exchanged vows.
After their marriage, their life together did not go as they had imagined, because things soon turned sour for them. Holyfield was reportedly involved in a series of extramarital affairs that were widely reported in the media. After she held out for a while, Bowen decided she had had enough and ended the affair. The couple welcomed a third child just before she filed for divorce, ending her and Holyfield’s six-year marriage in 1991.
Dr. Janice Itson (1996-2000)
Evander Holyfield, who had become quite famous in the boxing world in 1996, married Janice Itson, a doctor specializing in pain treatment. The two married on a whim in a wedding chapel in Atlanta, despite the disapproval of some people in the boxer’s life, especially his sister.
As in his first marriage, Holyfield continued to be involved in various extramarital affairs and took in two illegitimate children. Janice, on the other hand, is said to have become very extravagant, as she was responsible for his business. These things hindered the success of the marriage considerably, as they decided in July 2000 to end the marriage after the joint birth of a child.
Candi Calvana Smith (2003 -2012)
Evander Holyfield’s third marriage proved to be the longest and most dramatic of all marriages, as his wife claimed to have been repeatedly physically and emotionally abused by him. The latest incident occurred in February 2010 after he reportedly beat her up in front of the children during a heated argument.
Candi first filed a restraining order against Holyfield before deciding that she had had enough and filed for divorce. The divorce proceedings took two years to be completed, and in 2012 they went their separate ways.
At the time of the divorce, Holyfield was facing severe financial difficulties. The British newspaper The Independent wrote that the boxer was “completely broke and bankrupt” after earning over $500 million in his career. The main reasons for his bankruptcy were his bad spending habits, the constant alimony payments he had to make and the divorce settlements. He had also embarked on a series of failed business ventures.
Other Women He Had Affairs With
Not all the women with whom Evander Hollyfield had relationships are known to the public. The boxer, who was notorious for never keeping his marriage vows, had children with some of these women, while others made sure that their identities would remain a secret forever.
Some of the women who never married the boxer, but who are known to have had children for him, are Sheryl Crowder, La Brown, and Tamie Pettaway, to whom he was once engaged. Another woman who had a child by him is Toi Irvin, who made headlines in 2008 when she filed a lawsuit for non-payment of two months’ alimony for his then ten-year-old son Evan.
What We Know About Some of Evander Holyfield Children
As already mentioned, the legendary boxer had eleven children; 6 boys and 5 girls. Like their father, all the names of his children begin with the letter “E”. You are the son of Evander Holyfield Jr. (1984), daughter Evette Ashley Holyfield (1986), daughter Ebonne Esheal Holyfield (1989), son Ewin Ezekiel Holyfield (1990), daughter Emani Winter Holyfield (1993), daughter Eden Eloise Holyfield (1995), son Elijah Esaias Holyfield (1997), son Eleazar Evan Holyfield (1997), son Elijah Jedidiah Holyfield (1998), son Eli Ethan Holyfield (2004) and daughter Eve Elizabeth Holyfield (2005).
Evette is Holyfield’s daughter with his first wife Paulette Bowen. She is a stylist and designer born on September 3, 1985. She is a reserved and conservative Christian who is strongly opposed to premarital sex.
Evan, who was born in October 1997, is a product of his father’s relationship with Toi Jenese Irvin. Like his father, the boy has gone into boxing, where he plans to leave an indelible mark. Although it is not clear whether he is under contract with any management team, Evan obviously has very big shoes to fill. He showed that he is capable of this in 2019 when he made his professional debut against Nick Winstead and needed only 16 seconds to finish his opponent in the first round of the middleweight fight.
Eden Eloise and Elijah Esias
Eden and Elijah are the children of Evander Holyfield and his former fiancée Tamie Pettaway, who has been married for more than two decades to a man identified as Chris. Not much is known about Eden, but Elijah, on the other hand, has had a career in sports. At first, he tried to follow in his father’s footsteps but ended up playing football as a running back.
Elijah played college football at the University of Georgia before signing with the Carolina Panthers in 2019 as an unattached freelancer. After the team gave him up, he signed on to the active list of the Philadelphia Eagles.