Evander Holyfield will return to the ring Saturday night for an eight-round boxing match against former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort. The fight will take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Holyfield, who last fought Brian Nielsen in May 2011, appears to be the second oldest fighter to fight professionally, if Saturday’s fight counts against his professional record. Holyfield was 44-10-2 (29 KOs) from 1984 to 2011, becoming the only boxer in history to win the undisputed title in two weight classes (cruiserweight and heavyweight). He is also the only four-time heavyweight champion of the world.
Holyfield announced his intention to return to the ring on May 6, 2020, for the cause # Unite4OurFight, which he said provides social and emotional development resources for children. He was scheduled to fight Kevin McBride this summer on unified lightweight champion Teofimo López’s title defense undercard against George Kambosos, but that fight was delayed until October after Lopez tested positive for COVID-19.
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When former six-division champion Oscar De La Hoya tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, Holyfield took his place to fight Belfort. Considering Holyfield’s age and the state of his career, should he have come back for another fight?
Here’s what Saturday’s fight will mean for him:
How old is Evander Holyfield?
At 58 years and 327 days, Holyfield is believed to be the second oldest fighter to compete professionally, if Saturday’s fight counts in his record.
The oldest boxer to participate in a professional fight is Steve Ward, who last competed in December 2015 at age 59.
According to ESPN, Holyfield will return to earn “several million” for this fight, and he also has his eyes on a third fight with Mike Tyson, who returned in November 2020 against Roy Jones Jr.
When asked to respond to people who say he’s too old to fight, Holyfield said he would agree.
“At least I’m fighting someone I know can protect me [against]Holyfield said. It’s all about protection. You don’t become a good fighter until you know how to avoid getting hit. . . . I know all the things it takes to be safe. “
“It’s a little difficult to turn down a large sum of something when you know you can do it.” “Also, you have to understand that they say that fighting someone is not their thing.”
Belfort, who retired from the UFC after a knockout loss to Lyoto Machida in May 2018, has only made one professional boxing appearance. It was against Josemario Neves in April 2006. He won by technical knockout.
Evander Holyfield’s career record
It’s unclear if Saturday’s fight will count against Holyfield’s professional record.
A spokesman for the Florida Athletic Commission told ESPN that the commission “is prepared to regulate the Evander Holyfield-Vitor Belfort fight as a sanctioned fight that would appear on both fighters’ official boxing record,” although the decision on whether will count. falls to the fighters.
In that same story, ESPN reported that Holyfield has “expressed apprehension about the fight that counts toward his professional record.”
“If Holyfield doesn’t want this to go in his BoxRec [list of fights] because of his age, we will allow him to make the decision and follow all the other rules, “Triller co-founder Ryan Kavanaugh told ESPN.” As of now, the wrestlers feel comfortable with the situation and we will review this over the next few days to decide. ”
Regardless of how the fight is recounted, Holyfield said he is taking the fight very seriously.
“It’s a fight, the rules are the same,” Holyfield said when asked if it would be an exhibition. “All I know is that it’s a fight and they have the rules. If I can catch him in a second, I’ll catch him in a second … I do what I have to do.”
Evander Holyfield Career Summary
Evander Holyfield is one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. He is the only fighter in the division who has been a world champion four different times. He held the WBA, WBC and IBF titles from October 1990 to November 1992; the WBA and FIB titles from November 1993 to April 1994; the title of the WBA from November 1996 to March 1999; the IBF title from November 1997 to March 2019; and the WBA title again from August 2000 to March 2001.
Holyfield has defeated several all-time wrestlers during his career, including George Foreman (1991), Larry Holmes (1992), Riddick Bowe (1993), and Mike Tyson (1996 and 1997). He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2017. He was praised for his chin, footwork, and combinations.
“He was a very smart guy because he realized that when he was a heavyweight, he was a very small heavyweight, but he was the fastest heavyweight; he had the best hand speed, he had the best foot speed.” said former coach Ronnie Shields. “There was no one in the heavyweight division who could match him in speed and he knew it; that’s why he was able to become a world champion and he got away with it for so long.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.