The new Discovery Plus docuseries highlighted the faith and baptism of boxer Evan Holyfield, son of the boxing champion Evander Holyfield.
The second episode of Discovery Plus docuseries, “Legacy: In The Shadow of Greatness,” features Evan Holyfield’s arrival at the Watkins’ Fighter Nation gym in Houston, Texas. Maurice “Termite” Watkins received a phone call from former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, asking him if he would take his son, Evan, for training.
Maurice immediately agreed as he tried to contain his excitement. He even promised Evander that he would treat him as his own son. Fighter Nation gym began with Maurice’s lifelong friendship with Johnny Brady, pastor, and founder of Fellowship of the Nations church.
Right next to Johnny’s church was an empty building and he thought about turning it into a boxing gym. He asked Maurice to run it and he agreed. From being a professional boxer who struggled with drugs and alcohol, Maurice became the pastor of Fighter Nation.
“I took him in the gym and I said, ‘I want you to look at something. What God wants to do is He wants to take your pain and turn it into a ministry,’” Johnny said in the docuseries.
Boxing and Faith
After 10 years of running the boxing gym, he received that very important phone call from Evander.
“For us, bringing in Evan, it was a joy because everybody’s heard of his father,” Johnny said in the episode. “Not only was he coming in just to Fighter Nation, but he was really coming into a church, and kind of coming into a family.”
The same people who train in the gym are the same people who also worship the Lord in the church. Evan saw how interwoven the gym and the church are. After settling in Houston and cultivating a relationship with God, Evan decided to be baptized. Maurice performed the baptism to symbolize Evan’s new-found faith in Christ.
“My dad always told me to really step forward in faith, you’ve got to be baptized,” Evan said. “That was always something that was always kind of, like, on my mind growing up.”
For the former boxing champion, boxing was both a gift and a blessing from God.
“I kind of felt that God blessed me with something,” Evander said. “Boxing was kind of like a gift to me.”
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Reference: Sports Spectrum