Just two days shy of St. Valentine’s Day 2022 I watched my mentor & friend boxing legend Evander Holyfield wed Shevon Harris in an intimate black-tie affair held at the Guitar Hotel in the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, Florida. His bride was set on wearing white, with Evander choosing the accent color gold—something he knows all about.
For three decades Evander Holyfield made winning title belts seem inevitable. He is the only four-time Heavyweight Champion of the World and remains the only boxer in history to win the undisputed championship in two weight classes in the three-belt era. With multiple product endorsements, television and movie appearances, even his own video game, Evander Holyfield was a household name by the early 1990’s.
His name may always be synonymous with the sport of boxing, but these days Evander is more philanthropist than he is fighter. Shevon, a lawyer for over 27 years, says “Evander treats everyone with respect” something he learned growing up in Atlanta’s projects. His upbringing was wrought with family turmoil and pressure, as the youngest of nine children. The matriarchs of his family spoke almost prophetically of his future, professing Evander would be the one to “change the family.”
Consequently, he felt the need to fulfill their expectations using their words to fuel his fire to win. He still speaks fondly of his mother and the many lessons she taught him, chiefly, to “listen, follow directions, and don’t quit.” His mother also encouraged him to be a “learner and not a knower” and he took her advice when looking for a life partner. In Shevon he’s found a woman whose strengths complement his weaknesses and who shares his faith.
Before the couple decided to marry, they each prayed separately for God’s will. Both had previous marriages and have learned the patience and effort it takes to make a marriage work. Evander and Shevon believe they’ve been brought together for a reason. “There are three of us in this marriage,” Shevon says of their union.
Every bit as much as her husband knows what it takes to succeed, Shevon epitomizes hard work, commitment, and dedication to helping others. Her practice, The Harris Law Firm, in Missouri focuses on family law and attorney discipline. She is also a contracted attorney in the State of Missouri’s juvenile court representing abused children and the parents who abuse them. In many ways, she too is a fighter and is unquestionably relieved that Evander has retired from professional boxing.
The Holyfields plan to continue their charitable work, supporting causes close to their hearts, including giving underprivileged youth a fighting chance to learn resilience through adversity to overcome life’s challenges. They are excited about navigating their future together with their children and grandchildren.
When Shevon isn’t practicing law in St. Louis and Evander isn’t working on his sixpack abs, the couple enjoy cuddling on the couch watching a movie. Although she’s known Evander for more than a decade, Shevon says “We’re still honeymooners”.
Shevon and Evander are keeping their love strong with intention, appreciating their differences, and saying “I love you” every day. It pays to hold on to a good thing because if you don’t, as Evander said, “somebody else will get what you could have gotten.” Sage advice for winning in the ring and in love.