Boxing legend Evander Holyfield (pictured) wants only 20 items from a collection of 450 boxing memorabilia that is set for auction on November 30. The Beverly Hills Julien Auction House, though, is refusing to release the keepsakes, so Holyfield has filed a lawsuit at a Los Angeles court to block their sale, according to Courthouse News Service.
Holyfield was forced to vacate his 54,000-square-foot palatial Atlanta suburban estate in July, because he was deep in debt to the tune of about $14 million. The former five-time heavyweight champ, who has earned more than a reported $200 million over his boxing career, has money woes that run the gamut from child support debts for a few of his 11 children, to delinquent taxes, unsettled lawsuits, divorce, and just plain old bad financial decisions.
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The lawsuit states that Holyfield must agree to having all of the items put up for bidding and that the 20 items in dispute should be returned to him. The auction company’s head honcho Darren Julien insists, however, that not only has his company already doled out hundreds of thousands of dollars to Evander but he staunchly contends that the boxer already selected the items he wanted to keep.
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Julien also argues that he and his employees worked tirelessly for months to organize and cherry pick items from Holyfield’s foreclosed home that were hastily collected when he had to vacate his home. The result of Julien and his team’s selections, according to him, is a “world-class” auction offering.
In his suit, Holyfield explains that he was distracted as he selected items from his memorabilia that were being catalogued and sorted by the auction house workers.
The suit goes on to state:
If, on the other hand, Holyfield is forced to sell those few items of personal property that have the very most sentimental value to him as he looks back over his career, and which he wants to pass down to future generations of his family, the hardship is overwhelming and irreparable.
Items from the “disputed 20” are such cherished treasures as the pair of gloves Holyfield used in the now-infamous 1996 bout with Mike Tyson, when part of his ear was bitten off; robes he wore in the Olympics; a Father of the Year award; his 1992 WBA Boxer of the Year award; and championship belts he won in 1993.
Holyfield is seeking an injunction and punitive damages for conversion, unfair business practices, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of oral contract, anticipatory breach of oral contract, false promise, and misrepresentation.