Former boxer Evander Holyfield‘s wife claims that he attacked her following an argument over donations to their church. Candi Holyfield, the former heavyweight world champion’s third wife, says Evander hit her in the face, the back of the head and her back one night earlier this month prompting her to file a temporary protective order against him.

“He said that I was being disrespectful,” 30-year-old Candi Holyfield said in a February 3 court filing. “He started telling me that I needed to start putting God first in my life.” According to court documents, the dispute started during the night and when Holyfield turned on the light and saw his wife’s face he apologized. It was unclear whether the incident resulted in a criminal investigation.

A magistrate judge signed a temporary order on February 3 barring Evander Holyfield from being within 500 yards of his wife and their two children, a 6-year-old boy and 5-year-old girl. A court hearing is scheduled for February 18.

Candi Holyfield said in the protective order that her husband had struck her before, citing several incidents of physical abuse since 2008. However, in a statement released Thursday through a publicist, Candi Holyfield praised her husband’s character.

“Our current situation should in no way be considered a reflection of his character. I have been with this man for nine years and will be the first to say that he has many qualities and characteristics that I admire and respect,” she said.

AFP

Getting beat by your husband because you don’t pay tithes at church? Wow… just when you think you’ve heard it all!