June 10, 1994 – Philadelphia, Florida
After being diagnosed with a serious heart condition following the Moorer fight, Evander assumed his career was over and he had to begin thinking about his next move. The answer came to him quickly: He would use his celebrity in service to his faith and help spread the Word of God.
But before he could enter the ministry, Evander felt strongly that he had to “get right with the Lord” and move past the kinds of things that would make him less than fully effective. He was introduced to the popular evangelist Benny Hinn, who invited him to a revival meeting in Florida. At the meeting, Evander was brought onto the stage where he told Hinn and the audience about his career-ending heart condition. Hinn listened carefully and then, in full view of the thousands of people in the audience, shook his head and told Evander that there was nothing wrong with his heart. “You are healed,” he pronounced confidently.
Evander assured him that this was impossible, but Hinn insisted that he go back to the same doctors who’d made the original diagnosis. “You tell them Benny Hinn said to test you again.”
Evander did as Hinn asked and, to his and the doctors’ astonishment, all the tests came up negative. When he then applied to the Nevada Athletic Commission to get his boxing license back, the officials in charge were disbelieving and insisted that he get checked out at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic. After a week-long series of extensive tests, the Mayo physicians confirmed the earlier findings and pronounced Evander’s heart 100% healthy and fit. They also determined that he hadn’t been born with a bad heart: The problem had been the result of over-medication in the ER following the Moorer fight. That Evander hadn’t died as a result was a miracle, they said, and that he’d survived the plane flight to Emery was another miracle. Couple that with the fact that the condition had completely cleared up in a matter of weeks, and it was a time of miracles indeed.
A year later Evander was back in the ring and won a decision against Ray Mercer. He got knocked out by Riddick Bowe in their third fight later that year, but went on to beat Bobby Czyz and thereby earn the right to finally fight Mike Tyson.
But the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta were coming up and there was something Evander wanted to do that had been on his mind for a long time.
© 2011 by Steeplechase Run, Inc. All Rights Reserved — Posted by permission of the author