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I wasn’t surprised to see that boxing legend Evander Holyfield was having financial problems.   For some reason, this happens to many athletes, especially boxers.  Joe Louis, Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali all had the same issues as Holyfield, and what’s worse is that I’ve left the names of several other boxers off the list.  I’m a simple man, and my belief is that if you’re going to spend your life getting your head bashed in, you might as well make sure you can afford medical attention after your career is over.

While I can certainly drone on and on about the many ways in which Evander Holyfield hurt himself financially, I am not going to do that.  He has earned over $100 million dollars in his career, including the unprecedented $34 million dollar payday he received for getting his ear bitten off by Mike Tyson.   Much of that money appears to be gone, as he has had his mansion in foreclosure, and has been getting sued left and right by companies to whom he owes quite a bit of money.

What gets my attention the most about Evander Holyfield is his decision to have 11 children.  Two or three kids, I can understand – it happens.  But in order to have 11 children, you have to be determined to keep your woman as naked as possible.  You also have to be incredibly sloppy (or perhaps irresponsible) when it comes to the use of protection, which is another disturbing issue within itself.  Yes, children are a blessing, but having children you can’t afford to take care of is incredibly problematic.

RELATED: 29-Year-Old Has 21 Kids With 11 Women

I see Evander’s actions replicated on a regular basis by young brothers who really don’t understand what they are getting themselves into.  While they might see the quick and easy access to sex, I see 18 years of paying massive child support that you may not be able to afford.  I am speaking from experience, since I paid quite a bit of money for the child I had at the age of 18.  Fortunately, I was careful not to get anyone else pregnant, and having a child encouraged me to get an education so I could take care of my child as she got older.  Believe me, the child support courts were brutal over the years, and showed no mercy as they milked my bank account like a cow on a dairy farm.  What’s really ironic is that I was a single man with a pretty high income, and STILL found the payments to be difficult to make.  I can’t imagine if I were married and broke.

The big lesson we can all learn from Evander’s mistakes is that you should plan your path to procreation.  Having a long list of “baby mamas” and “baby daddies” is a great way to end up hurting both yourself and your children.  The child support system doesn’t play, and they love to send people to jail for not being able to come up with the cash.  Also, you may find that your own selfish behavior can cause decades of psychological misery for your kids, as you have to watch them grow up without sufficient economic or personal attention from the people who are supposed to be raising them.

RELATED: Man Wrongly Docked $40,000 From Paycheck For Child Support

I have a friend who went to prison for 12 years.  Before he went to prison, he had five children with four different women.  Now, that he is out of prison, the child support system is threatening to send him back to the “pen.”  He never built a career, so he has little hope for economic advancement and he also can’t pay the massive amounts of back child support he owes.  What’s worse is that he has several children who are now teenagers who grew up without their father.  They have little love for him, and some of his children are on their way to filling the very same jail cell that their father filled over the past 12 years.

We’ve got to break these ridiculous cycles – we are smarter than that.  Enjoy sex if you want, but don’t force everyone else to pay for the consequences of your personal choices.   If you don’t prepare for your future, you’re putting the future of your own children in jeopardy.  Always plan ahead.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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