If Dillian Whyte could step in the ring with one past fighter from any era, it’d be Evander Holyfield.
The heavyweight contender, perennially on the verge of a world title fight, fantasised about a clash against a two-weight undisputed champion when asked by talkSPORT.com about his ‘History Fight’.
“I’d love to fight Evander Holyfield,” Whyte responded with barely a moment’s hesitation, as if he’d envisaged the scenario before.
“He was so tenacious. He had everything man, heart, speed, power, movement.
“It’d have been good just to test myself to see where I’d have been against someone like that, you know.”
After controversially only winning bronze at the 1984 Olympics, Holyfield turned professional and began his career as a cruiserweight.
Within 12 fights he was world champion and within 18 fights he’d collected all of the major titles to become the undisputed king.
Despite public scepticism about the move, he then opted to jump up to heavyweight and, in his seventh fight in the division, knocked out Mike Tyson’s conqueror Buster Douglas to become undisputed champion once again.
Holyfield did lose fights during his prime, but proved he was the ‘Real Deal’ by winning back titles on multiple occasions – making him the only four-time heavyweight champion in history.
He remarkably continued fighting on until 2011 with his last bout coming at the age of 48.
When asked how a meeting between them would play out, Whyte replied: “If I fought him when he was 48, I would kill him!
“I don’t know my best yet so it’s hard to say, I don’t think I’ve hit my best yet.
“I keep improving, I haven’t peaked, then plateaued, then dived off a cliff.
“I keep climbing my whole career. If you look, I just get better and better and better.
“Physically, mentally and boxing wise, so I don’t know where my best is yet.”
Holyfield’s most famous fights came when he twice took on Mike Tyson and three times faced Riddick Bowe.
Against Tyson, he won their long-awaited first bout by knockout and then secured a victory in the rematch by virtue of his rival’s infamous ear bite disqualification.
Against Bowe, Holyfield suffered his first defeat by decision, but earned revenge in a rematch before then being knocked out in their third contest.
This trilogy goes down as one of the most thrilling in boxing history, with the ‘Real Deal’ also sharing astonishingly entertaining fights with Dwight Muhammad Qawi and Michael Moorer.
Whyte has been known to have some back-and-forth heavyweight tear-ups himself, most notably in his two wars with Derek Chisora, as well as entertaining clashes with Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker.
Considering a style match-up with Holyfield, the 31-year-old concluded: “It’d be great because we’re both quite offensive fighters, it’d be crazy.
“It’d be like a Holyfield vs Michael Moorer sort of thing, it’d be like that.”
You can catch WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in the flesh at the famous ICC Arena in Birmingham on July 27 at the marquee event of his UK tour with Showfighter and Gold Star. talkSPORT will be in attendance so click HERE or more information on the event and get your tickets HERE.