Evander Holyfield Vs. Vitor Belfort Officially Set As Full Blown Boxing Match
By: Hans Themistode
Originally, it seemed unlikely bordering on impossible.
With Oscar De La Hoya forced to withdraw from his showdown against Vitor Belfort due to the former six-division world champion testing positive for COVID-19, the entire card appeared destined to be scrapped.
Yet, with Evander Holyfield happily stepping in to save the show, public outrage has immediately occurred. To add fire to the flames, not only is Holyfield set to return to the ring after spending a decade away from it but at the age of 58, his showdown against Belfort has officially been sanctioned by the Florida State Boxing Commission as a full-blown boxing match.
According to Patrick Cunningham, Executive Director of the commission, both boxers have met all requirements necessary and have been granted a boxing license. Originally, their contest was set to take place as an exhibition. Now, Holyfield will be allowed the opportunity to add the 45 win to his Hall of Fame career.
Both Belfort and Holyfield will take place in the main event slot at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Despite the authenticity of their contest, the pair will have eight, two-minute rounds to work with, as opposed to the customary three-minute rounds in men’s boxing.
Several decades ago, Holyfield carved out one of the greatest careers in boxing history, winning multiple world titles in both the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions. Most recently, Holyfield decided to hang up his gloves after a tenth-round stoppage win over Brian Nielsen in 2011.
As Holyfield walked through the ropes during a recent open workout, the Atlanta native showed his age. He was visibly slower in letting his hands go but has continued to work diligently towards his comeback.
While Belfort may have built his name and reputation in the UFC’s octagon, the Brazilian native isn’t entirely a newbie boxer. In 2006, Belfort made his sole appearance in the ring, scoring a first-round stoppage win against Josemario Neves.
Also set to make an appearance on the card will be fellow former UFC fighters, Tito Ortiz and Anderson Silva. In addition to that, former two-division champion David Haye, will end his three-year retirement to take on good friend, Joe Fournier.
Oscar De La Hoya Tests Positive For COVID-19, No Longer Facing Vitor Belfort, Evander Holyfield Steps In
By: Hans Themistode
Oscar De La Hoya did everything in his power to get himself ready to make a return to the ring.
The former six-division world champion agreed to end his retirement, which spanned over a dozen years, to take on former UFC Champion, Vitor Belfort. The two were officially set to face off on September 11th, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Recently, during an open workout, De La Hoya revealed a chiseled physique and appeared to be in terrific shape. With only a few days left until his ring return, however, De La Hoya was hit with an immediate gut punch as he tested positive for COVID-19.
While Belfort was hoping to take on De La Hoya in just over a week, the 44-year-old will now take on an opponent much closer to his size. With the news of De La Hoya being forced to the sidelines, former cruiserweight and heavyweight champion, Evander Holyfield, has agreed to step in.
Although Holyfield is said to be ready, willing, and able to take on Belfort, the 2015 Hall of Famer will now hope that both he and Belfort are approved by the California State Athletic Commission. If, for some reason, their contest is not approved, the pair could move their showdown to Florida instead.
For Holyfield, at the age of 58, the former multiple-time heavyweight belt holder had long been hoping to step into the ring after spending a decade away from it. Originally, Holyfield was set to take on Kevin McBride in an exhibition matchup on the undercard of unified lightweight titlist Teofimo Lopez and his mandatory showdown against George Kambosos Jr. Yet, with their contest postponed on several occasions, Holyfield vs. McBride fell by the wayside.
With Holyfield now getting his chance to return to the ring, his showdown against Belfort will reportedly take place as a full-blown boxing match, as opposed to an exhibition.
The last time Holyfield was seen in the ring, he pummeled journeymen Brian Nielsen via 10th round stoppage before ultimately deciding to pull the curtains down on his career.