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HARLINGEN — Former undisputed heavyweight and cruiserweight champion Evander Holyfield looks like he could still go 12 rounds, or maybe even 15 like his early days.
Holyfield, 60, greeted fans and took pictures at the packed Harlingen Convention Center that was filled with some of the region’s best boxers past and present for the Rio Grande Valley Boxing Hall of Fame’s second induction ceremony Friday evening.
The legendary boxer turned heads wherever he moved, and rightfully so. Holyfield is the only-ever boxer to be an undisputed champ in two different weight classes. Holyfield was also the first-ever boxer to hold world titles in three different decades, in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s and be the first to win a heavyweight title four different times.
Eric “The Drummer Boy” Molina was one of the inductees Friday night. Molina had a similar career trajectory as Holyfield, both started as cruiserweights early in their career before transitioning to heavyweight. Molina challenged for the heavyweight title twice against Deontay Wilder and then Anthony Joshua.
“As I progressed in my career he [Holyfield] was always an idol of mine,” Molina said. “He was somebody that I liked to emulate and study his movements. Just to have him in the Rio Grande Valley and to have someone that I have admired and who was an icon to me throughout my career makes it an even more special moment.”
The Drummer Boy went 29-9 in his boxing career.
Joining Molina on stage at the Harlingen Convention Center was Raul “El Tigre” Casarez, Omar Figueroa Sr., Mario Davila, Tom Lindsey and Robert Campos.
Casarez is a former professional boxer that finished his career with a boxing record of 24-11. Eleven of those wins came by way of knockout. Casarez owns Tigre’s Boxing Gym in Edinburg.
Campos is a legendary Brownsville boxing coach and former professional boxer. Figueroa Sr., has coached two boxing champions, his sons Omar Figueroa Jr. and Brandon Figueroa.
Davila, a local attorney and Lindsey, the president of the South Texas Amateur Boxing Association have been instrumental in the sport’s growth in the Valley.
“Five to ten years from now we are going to have more world champions than any other place in the world, in any other area we will have more,” Molina said. “There is so just so much talent here in the RGV. The coaching, the mentoring and the guidance is getting better every single day. I am looking forward to putting in any piece that I can put in to help that come true.”