What it means to be a champion

The epic life and mindset of Heavyweight World Champion Evander Holyfield

There’s something different about champions. Is it genetics? Upbringing? Luck? The most successful people in the world – athletes, businesspeople, entertainers – seem to have discovered a secret that the rest of us spend our lives figuring out. In reality, that’s far from the truth. The only difference between winners and losers is mindset. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of sports, where competition is fierce and the highs and lows can be brutal. 

Tony has had the privilege of working with some of the most amazing athletes in history. Here he sits down ringside with four-time Heavyweight World Champion Evander Holyfield. In this exclusive interview, Holyfield talks about what it was like growing up, his peak career moments, the notorious fight with Mike Tyson and the possibility of stepping back into the ring all these years later. 

Holyfield recounts the moment that changed his life at The Boys Club, the three best pieces of advice his mother gave him and what he learned from losing almost half a billion dollars. At 58 years old, Holyfield is still training as hard as ever, and hoping for a third match up against Tyson to finish out their trilogy.

Tony guides Holyfield through an epic retelling and reveal of what it means to be a part of a comeback story and how boxing is so much more than just a physical battle. It’s about marrying the physical body, psychology, spirit and soul for the ultimate combination of skills. Tony gets to the heart of what it means to be a champion, eliciting insightful quotes from the Heavyweight World Champion on:

  • Believing in yourself: “If you keep believing, eventually you’re going to start winning.”
  • The importance of mindset: “90% of the whole fight is how you think.”
  • The power of ritual: “Good habits allow you to succeed when you’re not even trying to.”

Watch the podcast for even more great quotes, plus:

  • Hear the story of his first loss and how he regained his peak state
  • Learn the top two habits that have allowed him to keep growing and succeeding
  • Discover what’s inspiring him now and what he’s most grateful for

In the video version of this interview, Holyfield invites Tony into his personal training ring for some punching practice. To see this extended interview, check out our YouTube page.

“The greatest boxers in history are the ones that can combine their psychology, their spirit, their soul and their physical body to produce extraordinary results.” – Tony Robbins

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[00:00] Brought to you by UPWvirtual.com/pod
[00.33] Tony: Welcome to the podcast
[01:50] Holyfield ID/Intro
[02:09] What was it like in the beginning?
[02:58] Started fighting at 8 yrs old story
[03:43] Who influenced your life the most?
[04:10] At 8, I was told I could be the heavyweight champion of the world
[06:00] All my brothers and sisters hit me, so I’m accustomed to getting hit!
[06:40] 3 best pieces of advice
[07:02] At 58, you want to fight Mike Tyson again
[08:35] Thousands vs millions – Cruiserweight vs Heavyweight
[09:30] Competition with Mike Tyson
[10:35] Where does your toughness come from?
[11:30] Holyfield’s Prom story
[12:45] What would your mom be most proud of you for today?
[14:40] Half a billion. You lost it all – what did you learn from that?
[17:10] Mindset of growing up poor
[19:25] You have the body of a 25 year old!
[20:50] Making the Olympic team
[22:40] Psychology of fighting
[24:10] If you want something, you have to work hard
[26:20] Repetition makes you better
[28:00] Holyfield’s rituals and habits
[29:27] First time I lost a fight
[31:50] Being a man of faith
[34:20] Advice to his 11 children
[36:00] I’ve lost 11 times 
[37:30] What boxing means to Holyfield
[39:10] What’s inspiring him now
[40:00] The moment that changed his life at The Boys Club
[44:45] What he’s most grateful for
[46:00] Tony’s sign off

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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