Evander Holyfield turns 59 in simply a few weeks which within the Untied States, means the previous heavyweight boxing champion is now eligible for senior housing, a membership into AARP, and the early hen particular at his native Sizzler.
And but someway we’re anticipated to face and cheer for “The Actual Deal” when he steps into the ring this weekend in opposition to former UFC titleholder Vitor Belfort, who shouldn’t be solely 15 years his junior, however a strong puncher boasting a slam-bang profession suffering from highlight-reel knockouts.
I assume we discovered nothing from Chuck Liddell.
Not in contrast to Holyfield, the getting older “Iceman” was beforehand lured out of retirement for a “Golden Boy” payday reverse longtime nemesis Tito Ortiz. And why not? For many of his combating prime, Liddell was the superior combatant — and proved it on two separate events.
Then got here movies of his pre-fight pad work and effectively, the “Junk Liddell” jokes weren’t that far off the mark. Liddell was flat-footed and stiff and regarded no totally different when it got here time to throw down. That’s how Ortiz — not precisely identified for his putting prowess — melted “The Iceman” within the opening body.
it’s dangerous when Dana White sounds just like the voice of cause.
Some fight sports activities followers will argue that no person has a proper to inform fighters like Holyfield when they need to (or shouldn’t) compete. If that’s your place; nice, it’s a good one, however don’t circle again after the struggle and say, “Oh my god, poor Holyfield, they need to have by no means let him contained in the ring.”
Bear in mind, California State Athletic Fee (CSAC) refused to license Holyfield as a result of it’s irresponsible to let somebody that previous step into a hoop and not using a modified ruleset, just like the one in place for Mike Tyson’s return in opposition to Roy Jones Jr. final fall.
Undeterred, the ghouls at Triller Struggle Membership — who’re additionally giving former U.S. President Donald Trump a microphone on Sept. 11 — boxed Holyfield up and shipped him out to Hollywood, Florida, the place (shock!) the fee rubber stamped his eight-round return.
“The Florida Athletic Fee has authorised the Evander Holyfield vs. Vitor Belfort bout as a completely regulated skilled boxing match,” Florida State Boxing Fee Government Director Patrick Cunningham mentioned in a ready assertion. “It is going to be carried out beneath the Unified Guidelines of Boxing and scored by three judges on the 10-point should system.”
I’m a sucker for nostalgia and I like the thought of previous timers coming again beneath Tyson’s “Legends League.” It offers fighters like Holyfield a chance to compete — with out knockouts or head pictures — and make a couple of bucks for themselves or charity.
However this … this feels gross.
Triller initially booked Belfort in opposition to Oscar De La Hoya, who subsequently contracted COVID-19 and was compelled to withdraw. Suspending the occasion or elevating Anderson Silva vs. Tito Ortiz into the headlining slot would have adversely impacted the underside line, even when it made probably the most sense (or proved the safer route).
Exhuming the mummified stays of the once-great Holyfield, nevertheless, retains Triller within the black — to the purpose the place it was cheaper to ship the whole card to “The Sunshine State” than to remain put and watch for “The Golden Boy” to recuperate.
You may hype up Holyfield all day lengthy (and deservedly so) however the reality is “The Actual Deal” has not stepped into the ring in over a decade. By no means was that extra apparent than his troubling, slow-motion exercise from final Wednesday in Hollywood.
I’m frightened that Holyfield would possibly get harm … or worse.
There’s an out of doors probability that Holyfield wins, fights to a aggressive determination, and even starches the power-punching Brazilian. That does not imply licensing a 58 year-old grandfather (with practically 60 skilled bouts value of head trauma) is a accountable approach to promote fights.
Again in my day (eek), the boxing writers mercilessly mocked promoters for reserving Holyfield — then 29 — in opposition to 42 year-old “Grandpa Holmes.” Ha! If solely they knew the carnivals to come back. As a sport, we must always demand higher, as a result of in so some ways we are higher.
We simply have bother displaying it every time massive cash will get concerned.