Children of famous athletes don’t often fare well when they follow in their parents footsteps. Fighting his way out of that stigma is Evan Holyfield.
The son of boxing legend Evander, Evan tried his hand at several other sports before he decided to step into the square ring. It didn’t take long for the 24-year-old to carve out a name for himself in the light-heavyweight division.
He is 8-0 in his career so far, with six wins by knockout. His sixth came this past October when he laid down Charles Stanford in the 2nd round in “incredible fashion,” as described by ESPN.
Just days before his latest KO, the electric fighter announced a partnership with The Georgia Hemp Company. Both are native to Atlanta, Georgia and passionate about CBD. Their partnership has blossomed around CBD’s potential to help athletes, in preparatory and preventative health, as well as recovery.
Before the partnership, Holyfield was already experimenting with CBD as a method of recovery. He firmly believes CBD products can assist him and other athletes around the world.
“I am very proud,” Holyfield said of the partnership. “As an athlete, it’s incredibly important to me that I am using products that are natural and will help take my career to the next level.”
As he continues to put in work in the ring and in the cannabis space, Evan is far from standing in anyone’s shadow. He’s already carved multiple lanes as his own man, blowing old stigma up in smoke.
Evan spoke to Leafly about his father’s legacy, building his own, and why he chose to team up with The Georgia Hemp Company.
Mehka King: How did the deal with The Georgia Hemp Company come about?
Evan Holyfield: My team and I have always been interested in the recovery process. And The Georgia Hemp Company is really the perfect partner because, not only are they a local business from my hometown, but they make a ton of high-quality CBD products that I can use to help my body recover when I’m training, or after a fight.
MK: How do you use CBD products to recover? Is it for post-fight pain relief? Do you use it while training?
EH: I use [it] both in training and after I have a fight. The faster I can recover, the faster I can get back in the ring and continue putting in the work to perform my best.
MK: A lot of young boxers and MMA fighters are looking to alternative medicines like CBD for pain relief and recovery. What made you want to look to CBD products for those?
EH: CBD is a healthier and more natural way to maintain my body when it comes to pain relief and recovery. There isn’t that dependability that can come with pharmaceuticals which is really important to me.
MK: What is it that led you to find yourself involved in boxing? Being the child of a boxing legend has to come with some pressure. How do you deal with the pressure that comes from being Evander’s son?
EH: What really led me to get into boxing was the feeling of wanting to master a skill and do something for myself. I also wanted to be unique, and although my father is very accomplished in boxing, I feel like I am making my own individual legacy in the sport. And it has helped me figure out who I am as a person.
MK: How much did your dad influence your move into boxing? Did you watch any of his matches?
EH: My dad didn’t necessarily influence me to get into boxing, but I saw the man that boxing made him to be and that was something that definitely impacted me. I watched many of his fights growing up and still do to this day. My favorite fights that I learned from are his tapes from the Olympics and his fights against Dwight Muhammad Qawi as a pro!
MK: You had a great match recently in Atlanta at State Farm Arena. What was it like to be able to fight on such a big stage? What was it like to grab the win that night?
EH: It was exciting to land a fight on ESPN. I feel like it’s something we all fantasize about as a kid, but for it to be a reality in my hometown, in front of my friends and family, was a true blessing. Grabbing the win that night meant the world to me, especially on my birthday.
MK: How do you get ready for fights?
EH: I get ready for fights the same way I always have since the amateur days. I start with getting myself right spiritually. Then, it’s about prepping my body for performance with nutrition. On the day of, I play video games all day until I fight!
MK: You will be taking part in the upcoming Discovery Channel+ show Legacy—what is the concept of the show and how will you be featured?
EH: Legacy shows the experiences of young athletes trying to follow or step out from the shadows of their star athlete parents. It exhibits the pressures that come with the territory. My dad and I are both on the show together.
MK: Who are some of your favorite fighters of all-time?
EH: Some of my favorite fighters of all time, excluding my father, are Manny Pacquiao, Ricardo López, Ray Leonard, Ray Robinson, Marco Antonio Barrera, Pernell Whitaker, Chocolatito Gonzalez, Tim Bradley, and Juan Manuel Márquez. I picked up little pieces from all of them that I’ve worked into my own craft as a boxer.
MK: Do you see yourself becoming one of the new faces of the sport of boxing?
EH: I can see myself becoming one of the new faces of boxing as long as I stay determined and focused in the gym. I always tell myself, ‘Don’t dwell on the past because yesterday’s meal never kept me fed for the next day.’