Evander Holyfield Championship Boxing (lost build of cancelled Game.com boxing game; 1999)
Evander Holyfield Championship Boxing is a cancelled top-down boxing game. Developed by Tiger Electronics for its Game.com Pocket Pro handheld console, the game was slated for release sometime in 1999, before it was cancelled following the Game.com's commercial failure and its discontinuation in 2000.
Evander Holyfield Championship Boxing was first showcased at the 1999 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 1999) as part of Tiger Electronics' unveiling of the Game.com Pocket Pro, which it hoped would turn around the handheld console's poor commercial fortunes. Likely in a bid to increase sales, Tiger Electronics acquired the licence to incorporate champion boxer Evander Holyfield in the game. Holyfield was a four-time world heavyweight champion, who also became both an undisputed cruiserweight and heavyweight world champion. He had previously put his name onto Evander Holyfield's Real Deal Boxing, a Sega Genesis and Game Gear side-on boxing game released in 1992. While it was rumoured that Evander Holyfield Championship Boxing would incorporate elements from the Sega Genesis title, a screenshot from the July 1999 issue of GamePro showed it had a top-down perspective, indicating it was built from scratch. According to the November 1999 issue of GamePro, it would enable players to compete against nine opponents, including Holyfield, in order to win the world heavyweight championship. Aside from allowing compete.com multiplayer, another game feature was that it included a built-in rumble pack, allowing for force feedback.
GamePro reported that Evander Holyfield Championship Boxing was slated for a later July 1999 release. However, GameSpot reported that Tiger Electronics had elected to delay the game until November that same year. Alas, the game went unreleased. By 1999, the Game.com was suffering from poor commercial and critical reception. Aside from selling below 300,000 units worldwide, it also received criticism for the poor quality of its games, its lack of colour, and for generally being inferior compared to the more affordable Nintendo GameBoy. Thus, Tiger Electronics would discontinue the console in 2000, leaving the game among others to become unreleased, as they likely would not have generated profits.
GamePro's screenshot, as well as the game being showcased at E3 1999, confirm that a build of Evander Holyfield Championship Boxing existed. Considering it was originally slated for a July 1999 issue, it also was likely in a relatively finished state. However, no build nor footage of the game has ever surfaced to the public.
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- 20th July 1999 issue of GamePro previewing the Pocket Pro and containing a screenshot of Holyfield Championship Boxing. Retrieved 10th Jan '23
- 13th May 1999 Tiger Electronics press release announcing the game would be showcased at E3 1999, as part of the Pocket Pro unveiling. Retrieved 10th Jan '23
- GameSpot reporting on then-upcoming games for the Pocket Pro, including Evander Holyfield Championship Boxing with a built-in rumble pack. Retrieved 10th Jan '23
- Bad Game Hall of Fame detailing the failure of the Game.com and its unreleased games, including Evander Holyfield Championship Boxing. Retrieved 10th Jan '23
- The Ring detailing the career of Holyfield. Retrieved 10th Jan '23
- August 1992 issue of Mean Machines reviewing Evander Holyfield's Real Deal Boxing. Retrieved 10th Jan '23
- November 1999 issue of GamePro summarising the game's content. Retrieved 10th Jan '23
- GameSpot reporting the game would be released in November 1999. Retrieved 10th Jan '23