HAMPTON, Ga. -- Approximately zero percent of us would even think about getting in the ring with former undisputed World Champion boxer Evander Holyfield. As it turns out, he wants nothing to do with getting behind the wheel of a stock car. So there.
"I wouldn't go around that track that fast."
-- Evander Holyfield
Holyfield, the honorary starter for Saturday night's Great Clips 300 to benefit Feed the Children NASCAR Nationwide Series event, took questions from the media at Atlanta Motor Speedway ahead of waving the green flag.
Despite being a NASCAR fan, Holyfield said he's perfectly content staying on the safer side of the pit road wall.
"I really like NASCAR because the fact is, I won't do it," Holyfield said. "It's almost like somebody watching boxing. They like boxing, but they're not going to get in (the ring). I wouldn't go around that track that fast. I really have a lot of hope and a lot of confidence and I'm really so glad you can live through somebody else for things that you choose not to do. NASCAR is that type of sport for me. I like it, but I don't want to do it."
So if Holyfield doesn't plan on ever getting behind the wheel, what about a NASCAR driver getting in the ring?
Over the years we've seen a fistful of drivers throw some haymakers -- looking at you, Marcos Ambrose -- but the question remains if they'd actually be any good between the ropes.
"It's hard to say. Boxing is a skill sport, it's not just emotions. It's pretty much the same thing," said Holyfield, whose Atlanta roots run deep. "These (drivers) started at a young age. They know the things that they have to do that are necessary, but it's a team sport. It's more of a team sport than a lot of people know. It's how fast they get them tires off (the car) and get you back on that track. There's somebody calculating when you should pull in (to pit road), when you shouldn't.
"You take chances, but the people who take chances win. And being a fighter myself, I realize that I got to fight this round or hope that I hurt him just to make up for the rounds that I didn't do real well. So you don't have to take chances. I think what makes (boxing and NASCAR) similar is the team that you have. There's that one guys who's just driving, but there's a team behind him that allows him to win. I think that's what might make a person a better fighter than the other guy."
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