Former heavyweight and cruiser world champion, American Evander Holyfield returned to the ring today (11), aged 58, and was knocked out by Brazilian Vitor Belfort, 14 years younger, in the 1st round. The boxing dispute provided for eight rounds of two minutes each and also marked the return of Belfort, who made his career in MMA.
The clash, the main one of the “Triller Fight Club”, was set just eight days ago. The American was selected at the last minute to replace Oscar de La Hoya, Vitor’s original opponent, who contracted covid-19 and had to be removed from the card. As a result, the show was transferred from California to the east coast of the country, in Florida.
Before the fight started, Donald Trump, former US president who participated in the event as a commentator for American TV, led the minute of silence in honor of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which killed more than 3 thousand Americans in 2001.
When the gong sounded, however, the speed of the carioca, 14 years younger, made the difference. Despite being shorter and with almost 10 kg of disadvantage, Belfort took advantage of the rival’s difficulty in finding the time for action and set the pace with sequences of crosses from the short distance.
After suffering a knockdown, the American, who hadn’t competed for ten years, got back on his feet and just defended himself and didn’t show any power to react until the referee stopped the match in a mere 1m49s. Holyfield then questioned the judge’s decision to stop him from going into the match.
With a professional record of 44 wins and 11 losses, Holyfield carries on his resume the fact of having been world heavyweight champion on four different occasions (counting only the four main entities of world boxing). Vitor, former UFC light heavyweight champion (93 kg), made his second appearance in the ring – both were defeated in the opening round.
Earlier, Anderson Silva, another MMA fighter who ventured into boxing, beat American Tito Ortiz, also by knockout in the first round.