Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield is back. The 58-year-old returns to the ring for the first time in a sanctioned bout since 2011 when he battles former UFC star Vito Belfort on Saturday night at Hard Rock LIVE at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida(FITE PPV/Triller Fight Club).
According to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, the fight will be eight, two-minute rounds with 12-ounce gloves.
Holyfield replaced Oscar De La Hoya, who was forced to withdraw after testing positive for Covid-19. The Atlanta native was scheduled to fight Kevin McBride in June, but that fight was postponed.
According to Holyfield, he’s in shape and will be ready for Belfort.
“I’ve been training for over two years because there were fights mentioned against other fighters,” he said. “I realize now as I prepare to face Belfort I’m in good shape, and I don’t get out of shape…
“I think I look alright, but this is after two years of solid training.”
Many are opposed to seeing Holyfield in the ring, but throughout his career, Holyfield has always defied the odds and plans on doing that against Belfort.
“When I was young, I didn’t have any bad habits, and so I’m older now and feel good,” Holyfield said. “I learned my whole life you’ll never be successful in life if you don’t take chances; that’s throughout my whole career.”
Should we have concerns about Holyfield entering the ring for a sanctioned bout at age 58? Probably, but fortunately for him, he will be fighting a 44-year-old Belfort, who is a novice when it comes to boxing, so maybe it won’t be too bad. Plus, it’s two-minute rounds, which helps.
In my opinion, Triller and the Florida commission will do everything in their power to make sure Holyfield doesn’t get hurt, but it’s the fight business, so anything can happen.
We’ll see what both Holyfield and Belfort have left on Saturday night.
Photo: Amanda Westscott/Triller Fight Club