If you want to attract new fans to boxing, is this really the way to do it? – we’re talking about 58-year-old Evander Holyfield taking on Vitor Belfort in Florida on Saturday night.
The former cruiserweight and heavyweight king stepped in for COVID-stricken Oscar De La Hoya (48) to meet the former MMA king Belfort (44).
Quite honestly, we had no desire to watch this play out – surely it is only a matter of time before somebody gets really hurt with this sort of thing. Instead this was billed as ‘the most anticipated heavyweight fight of the year’. Facepalm.
Holyfield down twice and stopped
Mercifully it appears that ‘The Real Deal’ emerged from the fight without serious harm, but he was down twice en route to a first-round stoppage.
This was a legendary boxer being battered by a former MMA star, whose only experience of boxing at any decent level was some 15 years ago. If you didn’t cry you’d laugh. This sort of stuff is pathetic, but even worse – it could be dangerous.
Holyfield created many glorious memories in the ring, some of the best ever, and that’s how we’d prefer to remember him.
While he is a grown man and can make his own decisions, there are people in boxing who are specifically supposed to save people from themselves.
Holyfield vs Belfort analysis
There are two schools of thought here:
- The legends are a great way to get former and new fight fans interested in the game.
- It’s just a ticket-selling ploy, and if boxing needs to do this to sell PPVs, the game is well and truly up.
You can probably guess which camp we are in.
The only small saving grace here was that Hall of Fame announcer Jim Lampley declined to call this ‘fight’. Again, we prefer our memories golden. This was anything and instead we had former President Donald Trump in the booth. What a world.