This new style of novelty boxing matches — fights between celebrities, legends and social media influencers — has been probably the most well-liked issues in fight sports activities over the previous yr. Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. set the stage in November, and the pattern has continued to achieve momentum since then. Regardless of different important bouts between a few of the greatest fighters within the sport, the Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul exhibition is the most important boxing pay-per-view occasion of 2021 to date. Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley from final month might find yourself being the second greatest.
But when individuals are going to proceed plunking down their hard-earned cash to purchase these reveals, there must be an enough payoff. That was lacking Saturday evening with the unlucky bout and end between Vitor Belfort and Evander Holyfield below the Triller Battle Membership banner in Hollywood, Florida. Belfort earned a first-round TKO victory after Holyfield landed just one punch.
Merely, and with all due respect to a legendary boxer, Holyfield, 58, mustn’t have been within the ring. He got here in on only a week’s discover after Belfort’s unique opponent, Oscar De La Hoya, was hospitalized with COVID-19. The combat was initially scheduled to occur in Los Angeles, however the California State Athletic Fee (CSAC) wouldn’t approve Belfort vs. Holyfield, so the complete occasion obtained moved to Florida and a extra amenable fee.
“I used to be not agreeable with the match primarily based on a wide range of regulatory elements, and we didn’t have enough time for [Holyfield] to undergo an intensive licensing course of,” CSAC government officer Andy Foster stated.
De La Hoya vs. Belfort was on the borderline of fight sports activities regulation. The 2 males had been in the identical age vary — De La Hoya is 48 and Belfort 44 — and De La Hoya was an exceptional boxer earlier than his retirement in 2008. Belfort is an MMA fighter who’s tied for essentially the most knockouts in UFC historical past however would not have any current expertise within the squared circle. The one factor anybody who has adopted Belfort’s profession is aware of about him is that he has hand velocity and pop in his punches.
However Holyfield? Certain, he regarded shredded from a pure look perspective, particularly for his age. However that is the place the constructive optics ended. The excitement this week in South Florida was much less concerning the combat and extra about Holyfield struggling in interviews and searching like a shell of his former unbelievable self in a public exercise.
Holyfield was not sandbagging in that exercise, and what many individuals thought would occur Saturday evening did certainly occur.
Early within the first spherical, the one boxer within the three-belt period to grow to be an undisputed champion in two divisions slipped on a left hook try and fell alongside the apron, between the underside two ropes. It was troublesome to observe. Belfort adopted with a few punching flurries, scoring a knockdown.
Holyfield obtained up, however he was doing little greater than consuming punches (some on his gloves). Referee Samuel Burgos mercifully stepped in. Holyfield argued that it was an early stoppage, when most watching most likely thought it ought to have been over sooner.
Holyfield appeared wonderful afterward throughout an interview with the published crew; however on a damaging observe, he stated he needs to combat once more and that he’s nonetheless involved in a rematch with Mike Tyson.
Sooner or later, somebody must step in and advise towards it. Nobody needs to inform a grown man he can’t make a residing, however boxing shouldn’t be a recreation. There are actual, lasting ramifications, and everybody concerned is fortunate Belfort vs. Holyfield didn’t find yourself worse. Which may not be the case subsequent time.
Belfort known as out Jake Paul in his postfight interview, with Triller placing up a winner-take-all prize of $30 million. UFC all-time nice Anderson Silva probably has an enormous payday awaiting him following his devastating knockout of fellow MMA legend Tito Ortiz on Saturday’s undercard.
That is all effectively and good. There’s nothing fallacious with fighters getting paid to compete towards opponents of the same ability stage and measurement. So long as individuals are prepared to pay for them, these occasions will proceed on. However there’s simply no good cause for a virtually 60-year-old man to be taking punches to the pinnacle from a youthful, sooner, extra explosive opponent.
Everybody concerned — commissions, promoters, coaches and the fighters themselves — must train discretion as we transfer ahead, as a result of fight sports activities as we all know it could possibly be hanging within the stability.
All that should occur is for one fighter to get severely injured — or worse — in one among these novelty matchups and the results might result in the whole thing of fight sports activities dealing with a reckoning.