Former IBF Lightweight Champ, Phillip "No Deal" Holiday of now (35-3-1) a successful three-time South African Amateur National Champion, with an impressive amateur boxing record of (100-5). He made his professional debut on April 18, 1991 with a second round knockout of Tim Kabine, he went ahead to win his next straight 24 pro bout to earn a world title shot on August, 1995 where he destroyed former champion, Miguel Julio by round ten KO to win the IBF lightweight championship. Holiday successfully defended his IBF belt six times before losing the title by a 12 rounds decision to "Sugar" Shane Mosley on August 2, 1997. Since then he has won four fights, two losses and a technical draw, a jr welterweight 8 rounder at his last bout May 20, 2000 on the Maskaev-Jefferson undercard. Holiday will be fight for another title in september. This is what Holiday told us about his boxing career from his Bally's Hotel suite in Atlantic City.
Interview by: Ike Enwereuzor Ike: Hello Phillip, how do you feel after your fight against Gerald Reed, on May 20 at Bally's park place, Atlantic City, NJ? Holiday: It was a good test for me, keep my fitness, improve my working rate, I was beating the guy before the head butt, then I got a very bad decision, I hate draw decision, it's the worst decision anyone ever wants. I understand that the Refs try to protect us but I wasn't that hurt not to continue the fight, I was ahead on the scorecard. The referre should have let the fight go on and then go to score card. Even they should have given my trainer a chance to stop the blood and the fight continues. I told the Ref, I can see, let the fight go on or give my trainer option to decide. We're paid to fight, so we have to give audience what they want, which is a good show, I was ahead on score card why tecnical draw, I hate draws. Ike: It seems like you're fighting at 146 pounds, are you a welter now? Holiday: No, I'm actually fighting at the junior welterweight division, Gerald Reed was not my main opponent, my opponent pulled out then replaced by Reed. Ike: Please, tell us your thoughts on your fight against Shane Mosley? Holiday: It was a very disappointing night for me, Shane ran all night, he just ran a lot. When you come to fight for a world title, you have to fight and show the world you're the champion not running away. Shane should have come to win the title but he didn't, they just gave it to him. I wanted a rematch but now he has moved to 147 and I'm comfortable at 140 pounds. I don't think he's interested in me now, I wish they gave me the opportunity for a rematch immediately but I know he's about fame now, wants to fight big names and big money not me. I love a rematch with Shane, we should do it at 140lbs or something. Shane has done great for himself since he won the IBF lightweight from me in 1997. Ike: Please, describe your last fight in Denmark, Febuary 2000? Holiday: My fight with Thomas Damgaard last Febuary in Denmark was a good fight. I beat him comfortably for all 12 rounds, was happy with my performance but they gave it to him. I definitely won the fight but the Judges scored it in his favor. Ike: What made you get into boxing? Holiday: My friends started boxing then I joined them and gave it a try and liked it. At first I was so nervous, I tried few months in gym first before my first local tournament. I started amateur at Benoai Village Boxing Gym in South Africa. Ike: Who's your favorite Boxer? Holiday: My favorite fighter is Marvin Hagler, he was a tough fighter. I meet him in Connecticut when I fought Ivan Robinson, he was at the show. I got his poster and he signed it for me. Hagler was a great champion who had the title for about 10 years. He's strong, fit and always in good condition. Ike: What's your views on Leonard-Hagler bout? Holiday: I think there was a lot of controversy. The fight was planned to go 15 rounds but changed 12 afterwards. I think they did it to favor Leonard who was getting tired. If the fight went 15 rounds Hagler would have definitely won the fight. Ike: Did you win any amateur titles? Holiday: I won one junior championship and two senior titles Ike: What made you join the South African Military? Holiday: It was complusory then in 1988, you had to go. I served in the South African Army for two years. Now, it's volutary Ike: How did you like the Army? Holiday: It was a great experience, a lot of hard training, clean up and discipline. It was definitely a good experience for a lot to go through. It makes you a strong human being and you learn how to take care of yourself. I never had to go to war. Ike: How would you describe your pro debut bout? Holiday: I was nervous like hell, now I'm fighting for money. I was in Army amateur camp with Tim Kabine for two year so we knew each other. It was a tough pro fight. I got caught with a left hook but I was fine. Ike: How many times did you defend your IBF Lightweight before losing to Mosley? Holiday: I defended 6 times before losing it to Shane. Ike: How would you describe your fight with John Lark? Holiday: Lark was tough because had more experience but his work rate wasn't enough. Ike: How would predict Tszyu-Holiday bout? Holiday: Tszyu's a good fighter but I have a big chance, I can punch, I don't see anything special about him. Power doesn't worry me, I fought Shane who has power but was running from me a night. Ike: Your toughest opponent since you boxing career? Holiday: It's difficult to say, Shane & Miguel Julio are among the mix, they were strong and can punch. Ivan Robinson is a good fighter who threws a lot of punches. I beat Julio, Robinson and even Shane but they just gave it to Shane. Ike: Why did you decide to box? Holiday: I tired boxing with my friends, liked it, continued untill I won three South African titles, I taught why not turn pro to make some money, I had nothing more to achieve in amateur. We couldn't fight internationally due to aparthy. Ike: Please, tell us your most memorable fight? Holiday: My most memorable fight was with former three-time world champion, Jeff Fenech, a big name in Australia, I expected a tough fight from him but I stopped him in the second round. I'll never forget that moment. Ike: How was your fight against Sugar Baby Rojas? Holiday: He gave me a tough fight but it wasn't a close fight, I thought he had a lot of experience. Ike: How would you compare boxing in South Africa to America? Holiday: America is well known for boxing, tough opponents, pays well in America but in South Africa, there are a lot of good boxers. American fighters are well schooled and South Africa has produced many world champions too. Boxing is a tradition in South Africa, we need to stage more professional fights there. Ike: When should we expect you back in the ring again? Holiday: I like to be busy, I should be fighting in July before I fight september for the World Boxing Union (WBU) title. I like to fight about five times a year. Ike: What do you want to accomplish in Boxing? Holiday: I would like to retire three-time world champion, so I want to win another two titles. I'm going to win a world title in september. I'll prepare for the fight better. Ike: How did you feel to capture the IBF Lightweight title against Miguel in 1995? Holiday: I felt fantasic winning a world title. it's every boxers dream, you have achieved one of your goal. I was so excited. Ike: Are you married? Holiday: Yes, married to the most beautiful and precious woman in my life Bree, we been togehter since 1997 and we have two wonderful kids, a son, Joshua who's 6 months and my daughter, Kayla 2. Ike: Your impression of the Hamed-Bungu bout? Holiday: Bungu is a very nice person, has done well for himself but I was very disappointed with his last performance against Prince Naseem Hamed. He just froze and just so scared unlike him. He was so nervous walking into the ring. If you are scared of your opponent before stepping into the ring, you have already beaten yourself. Bungu has done well in other world title fights. Ike: Thank you, for you time Mr. Holiday! Holiday: Thanks for stopping by Ike! Best of luck to you. It was the first time I meet the former IBF, I think he's a very commendable guy, has the potential to become a world champion again. Please, sent your comments here!