When your father is former undisputed heavyweight boxing champ Evander Holyfield, you’re gonna be one tough cookie. At 27, Evette Holyfield’s convictions are stronger than ever, and when it comes to having sex before marriage, she refuses to budge. She credits her father for giving her the bright idea at the early age of six, but her faith for helping her see it through from then on.

Now Holyfield speaks to young women about her decision to put herself (and her body!) first and to focus on her dreams rather than making a man happy. We sat down with her to ask all of the things we thought our readers might: Is it hard to do? What do your boyfriends have to say? Do other women give you a hard time about it? Holyfield was refreshingly honest and a total inspiration. Read her answers now.

ESSENCE.COM: When did you decide to be abstinent until marriage?

EVETTE HOLYFIELD: We grew up in a Christian home. When I was around six years old, my dad said to me, “You don’t need to have sex outside of marriage.” He went through the whole spiel with me. So as I grew up, I thought, okay dad, if you don’t want me to do it, I’m not gonna do it. Then I started to really understand church – the words in the Bible and what the pastor is really saying. At that point, I wasn’t just doing it because my dad said don’t, but rather, I now believe that by waiting, God will bless me and bring me a great husband. I want to meet somebody amazing, and I know that if I do this, I’m doing this for him and I. That’s what I want.

ESSENCE.COM: Has it been a difficult decision for you?

HOLYFIELD: Honestly, it’s easy for me. I was in a three-year relationship, and I never had those desires for him in that way. He never pressured me. In my mind, I already have it set that I’m not gonna do it, so if someone were to pressure me, it wouldn’t even phase me. I just don’t have those desires.

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