Four-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield made his return to the ring on Saturday night against former UFC star Vitor Belfort at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, and it didn’t last long.
With former president Donald Trump in the house, Belfort came out quick and dropped Holyfield twice in the first round. The 58-year-old would survive the knockdowns, and ultimately, after Belfort swarmed Holyfield one more time, the fight was stopped at 1:49 in the first round, and Belfort would get the TKO victory in the Triller Fight Club main event.
Holyfield looked like a 58-year-old man on Saturday night, which is okay because, after all, he’s 58 years old.
Holyfield, who beat Mike Tyson twice in the 90s and last fought in 2011, wants to fight the 55-year-old Tyson despite the loss.
“I wasn’t able to bounce back like I used to,” Holyfield said. “I let him get too close. But he’s strong, and he pushed me, but I wasn’t hurt. I’m not hurt at all. Yes, I’m still interested in fighting Mike Tyson.”
While the 44-year-old Belfort, who fought Holyfield after Oscar De La Hoya withdrew from the fight due to Covid, was happy with the victory and called out Youtube sensation Jake Paul.
“You never judge how many victories you have; you judge by the quality of your opponents,” Belfort said. “When you fight someone, the two warriors gain immediate respect for each other,” he said. “For me, to be able to compete with Holyfield is a dream.
“Yes, I challenge Jake Paul to a thirty-million-dollar winner-take-all fight; he cannot say no to me; he needs a real fight.”
After this performance, let’s hope this is the last time we see Holyfield in the ring. Clearly, he has nothing much to offer. However, Triller still might be able to sell an exhibition fight with Tyson.
In other action on the card:
ANDERSON ‘THE SPIDER’ SILVA, (3-1, 2 KOs), knocked out ‘THE HUNTINGTON BEACH BAD BOY’ TITO ORTIZ, (0-1), with a stunning overhand right to the head dropping Ortiz to the canvas. With Ortiz unable to beat the count the fight was stopped at 1:21 of the round.
“I’m so happy, my team and I worked so hard,” said Silva. “I just try to enjoy every single moment inside the ring. Thanks to God for giving me one more time to do my job.”
“The training is tough and that makes me feel ready for everything inside the ring. The entire team pushes me every day. I prepare my body and my mind for war and tonight I won. I’m not sure what’s next, just to go home and be with my family.”
In a battle of former friends, Former Unified Cruiserweight World Champion and Former Heavyweight World Champion DAVID ‘THE HAYEMAKER’ HAYE, (29-4, 26 KOs), solidly defeated JOE ‘THE BILLIONAIRE’ FOURNIER, (9-1, 9 KOs), in their eight-round clash. Scores were 80-71 and 79-72 (twice) as Haye flashed moments of brilliance throughout the fight against the outgunned Fournier.
“It felt really good to be back in the ring,” said the victorious Haye. “I haven’t hit a bag in three years, no sparring but I had four weeks of preparation for this and I got in there and felt fresh. I felt sharp, my timing was good. I wanted to give eight rounds of good entertainment and that’s what I did.”
“Now I feel like I’m ready to do some big things. I went out there and did exactly what I was going to do. Tyson Fury has been in my mind for a long time since 2013 when we were scheduled to fight. I’ve always wanted that fight and I’ve seen him getting better and better. I know I can beat him, I know his style, I know what he does well. My attributes don’t work for his style and he and his team know that.”
In a thrilling ten-round junior lightweight battle, Ireland’s JONO “KING KONG’ CARROLL, (22-6, 5 KOs), was victorious over ANDY ‘EL TIBURON’ VENCES, (23-3-1, 12 KOs), by way of majority decision. Scores were 95-95 and 97-93 twice. An even fight in the first half, the southpaw Carroll would pull away in the latter half of the fight with damaging combinations against the valiant Vences.
Said Carroll, “It’s fantastic to get this big win, it’s been a very tough year. But they say you have to sacrifice to really succeed in life. It’s never been a matter of if, only when I’m going to accomplish these goals. And now in 2022 I’m set up to fight for a world title and become a world champion. When I become a world champion I can build on the next chapter in my life.
A win like tonight and it all becomes worth it.”
In a preliminary bout, ANTHONY CHAVEZ, (9-1-1, 3 KOs), and DIUHL OLGUIN, (15-19-5, 10 KOs) fought to a majority draw in their junior lightweight bout. Scores were 58-56 for Chavez and 57-57, twice.
Also, ELIEZER SILVA, (1-0), made a successful pro debut against TERRY ROSCOE, (2-6), in their four round middleweight fight. Scores were 39-36 on all three scorecards for Silva.
Photo: Triller Fight Club/Amanda Westcott