Last night at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida, upstart pay per view boxing promoter and brand Triller put on a night of fights featuring some legends of the past. Originally slated in the Main Event was Oscar De La Hoya the “Golden Boy”, who is 48-years-old, and was trained and ready to fight Vitor Belfort, a former UFC star who last fought in 2018.
De La Hoya tested positive for the coronavirus and the plans changed. So, in stepped former Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield who is a whopping 58 years of age.
There was an open workout for the press where the public got a look at the old Champion, and he looked stunningly slow, compared to his hey days of the 90’s where he fought tooth and nail with the likes of Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, and Lennox Lewis, over 7 memorable fights.
I don’t know how anyone in their right mind could put Evander through a physical and clear him to fight. Here’s looking at you Florida State Athletic Commission.
Holyfield’s last fight prior to this fight was against Brian Nielsen in 2011, and he was probably a decade out of his prime in that fight, although he did score a TKO win.
In which, that should have closed the door on a fairy tale career that included two wins over Mike Tyson, a win over George Foreman, and Riddick Bowe.
Full disclosure I’m a huge boxing fan and have been since the hey days of Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson, in the early 90’s. I root for the sport to succeed and have big events that capture the imagination of the public and put it back on the front page of newspapers (their websites anyway), and back into the mainstream.
Boxing has become a niche sport, for many reasons that I won’t get into in this article, but putting on fight nights like this don’t help the sport at all in my opinion. Holyfield was TKO’d by Belfort in the first round.
He appeared to have no punch resistance or balance, and threw and missed a bunch and flew out of the ring as a result. It was sad to watch as a hardcore boxing fan.
While some fans would argue the fight was stopped early and that Holyfield could have continued. I think the referee might have been the only person looking out for the health of the 5 time champion.
On the same card two former MMA stars Anderson Silva and Tito Ortiz fought, and Anderson Silva badly knocked out Tito Ortiz who came into the ring with no experience as a professional boxer. While Triller fight Club is trying to burst onto the boxing scene and just find big names to use to pull in an audience, this isn’t the way to do it.
Triller should sign young and up and coming fighters and create stars instead of rolling out these old vets. I hope fans stop buying these pay per views, and that the athletic commissions stop sanctioning these bouts.
They are bad for the sports, and bad for any of these old timers jumping back into a dangerous sport for young fighters that are still in their prime but much more dangerous for older fighters will slower reflexes and low punch resistance.