Legendary boxer and five-time world champion Evander Holyfield was in Vancouver last night to throw his support behind anti-bullying measures inspired by the story of 15-year-old Amanda Todd.
“It hurts,” he told the crowd gathered at Fraserview Hall. “It don't make no difference how old or what grade you in when people laugh at you.”
Holyfield, speaking at a fundraiser for the Amanda Todd Legacy Fund, says he was laughed at as a child because he couldn't read.
“They started laughing at me in kindergarten,” he said.
“It is amazing in kindergarten when they say you don't know your alphabet and you sitting then there seeing people the same age and everybody laugh and the teacher don't stop them.”
Amanda Todd's mother Carol said Holyfield’s involvement is a huge help to the cause.
“It was like, ‘Wow. This is big news having someone like him wanting to be attached to the [Amanda Todd] Legacy Fund,’” she said.
Amanda Todd committed suicide last year after posting a YouTube video detailing how she was stalked and bullied for years.
Carol Todd says she is surprised her daughter's story continues to draw attention from around the world.
She says being involved in sport builds discipline and dedication.
“When kids go out there and feel confident about themselves they will be less likely to bully because you are holding your head up high and know can do something well,” she said.
Partial proceeds from Monday's event will go to the Amanda Todd Legacy Fund.
Holyfield is also donating money from the sale of a new barbeque sauce to anti-bullying campaigns.