Evander Holyfield to pay $36,000 a year in child support

By JOHN HOLLIS
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
10/23/2008

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Former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield and the Clayton County woman with whom he fathered a child reached a financial agreement Wednesday afternoon.

Lawyers worked out the settlement at the Fayette County Courthouse a brief time before an appearance before a judge. Holyfield has three years to put $100,000 in the education account for the 11-year-old son he had with Toi Jenese Irvin. Holyfield additionally agreed to pay for the boy’s private school education while maintaining the $3,000 per month in child support the court has mandated.

“I do love my kids,” Holyfield said after both parties reached the agreement at the Fayette County Courthouse. “I do want them to get a better education than I did, and I do all I can do to support them.”

The case, however, will remain open until Holyfield fulfills all obligations, said Randy Kessler, Irvin’s attorney.

“My client never wanted him to go to jail,” Kessler said. “She’s just glad it was resolved out of court.”

Holyfield was facing possible jail time from Superior Court Judge Christopher Edwards because he failed to comply with his financial responsibilities to Irvin and his son. Holyfield satisfied one of those conditions prior to Wednesday’s scheduled hearing by paying the $4,500 in legal fees that Kessler’s firm accrued in getting him to pay back child support earlier this year.

Holyfield, who lives in a mansion on a 200-acre estate in Fayette County, said he was satisfied with the outcome.

“Some people just aren’t patient enough to trust you that things are going to turn out,” he said. “Parents should be able to come together and talk things over themselves.”

Holyfield has grossed more than $248 million over his career in ring purses, including $107 million over a six-fight stretch from 1996 to 1999. He’s been hit hard financially, however, by two previous divorces, several failed business ventures and child support payments believed to run as high as $500,000 annually for the nine of his 11 children that don’t live with him. Holyfield and his third wife, Candi, have two children between them.

Holyfield spoke of additional revenue in the form of a possible fight with Russian Nikolai Valuev for the World Boxing Association title in December, but emphasized that no formal agreement had been finalized. Should he fight Valuev and win, Holyfield would become the oldest heavyweight boxing champion ever at age 46.

Holyfield said he plans to permanently retire from boxing at the end of 2009.

In the meantime, however, he said representatives of Lennox Lewis, the British former world champion looking to make a comeback, had contacted him earlier this week about a possible fight.

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