Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Evander Holyfield is defending himself against charges from his wife, Candi, that he hit her several times after an argument over payments to his church.
She alleges the attack is part of a pattern of abuse she has suffered at the hands of the former champion and episodes have been witnessed by the couple's two children.
Candi Holyfield, 30, has been granted a temporary protective order against the boxing legend.
The couple was married in 2003 and since the abuse began six months after they were married. In court papers, she said the abuse was emotional at the start but that physical attacks escalated after 2008.
Candi Holyfield said she was hit in the face, back of her head and back the evening of Feb 1. when she refused to show her husband check stubs from the family's church donations.
She added that the boxer apologized after her saw her bruises later that evening.
A magistrate judge's order now bans the boxer from being within 500 yards of wife and their six year-old son and five year- old daughter.
Against the wishes of many advisors and his fans, Holyfield, 47, is scheduled to reenter the ring Jan. 16th to fight Francois Botha for the little-known WBF title in Uganda. Last year, Holyfield lost a decision to mammoth Russian Nikolai Valuev.
Holyfield has found life outside the ring, in what should be the start of his retirement years, to be a much tougher opponent than many of the boxers he faced during his glory days in the ring defeating greats like Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes and Riddick Bowe.
Though Holyfield has earned more than $200 million in purses and purchased a 54,000-square-foot mansion, with more than 100 rooms and 17 baths in Atlanta, Holyfield reported he couldn't pay child support for one of his 10 children two years ago and had the mansion foreclosed on.
For fight fans, Holyfield played the gallant, noble counterpoint to bad boy Mike Tyson during the last great days of heavyweight boxing in the late '80s and early '90s.
Chiseled like a statue but undersized for a heavyweight, Holyfield fought with a tenacity matched by few.
Let us hope these allegations against Holyfield prove to be false, because his legacy doesn't need anymore tarnish.