By Robert Brizel, Brick City Boxing Correspondent
Call the dog and pony show of Oscar De La Hoya moved from Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, to the Florida land of sunshine Florida’s folly. Categorize the last minute decision by Florida to allow the once proud former World Cruiserweight and World Heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield to replace De La Hoya with Holyfield a fool’s paradise, for if California would not sanction it, neither then should Florida.
There is no substitute for hard work and proper preparations in any profession, boxing included. Somebody like Evander Holyfield knew better than to take a paycheck to pursue long forgotten faded glory. We can now reason why Holyfield versus Tyson III would have been a massacre. For those paying Triller for the pay-per-view card at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Saturday evening, September 11, 2021, the actual bouts, and exhibition bouts, exposed the folly of sanctioning older out-of-shape fighters. Undisciplined and untrained, Evander Holyfield was like Muhammad Ali against Larry Holmes in 1980, a good looking Rolex with the guts missing. The seemingly real Rolex got exposed immediately, almost as soon as the bell rang.
The only question preceding the five bout show was whether or not Holyfield versus Vitor Belfort and David Haye versus Joe Fornier, were actual eight round bouts with three minute rounds, or eight round exhibition bouts with two minute rounds. Holyfield, age 58, 44-10-2 with 29 knockouts, Atlanta, Georgia, got dropped and stopped in the first round of the main event by Belfort, age 44, a former UFC Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight champion, 1-0 in boxing, Coconut Creek, Florida by way of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. “You are a patriot!” explained former United States President Donald Trump, calling the card at ringside.
Holyfield launched a series of right hands, then got attacked by Belfort, who dropped Holyfield twice. The first knockdown was ruled a slip. The second was not. Belfort then destroyed defenseless old man Holyfield on the ropes, who was unable to defend himself. The sad scene was worse than the ravages of father time. Belfort had not fought MMA since 2018, and his only previous boxing match was a win in 2006. Belfort was prepared though. Holyfield was not. That was the bottom line. Holyfield fell from a hard rock.
It was sad overall to watch Holyfield, sadder to watch the only possible outcome. To have expected more was not feasible. “It is what it is,” stated Holyfield afterwards. Holyfield is right. If you do not train with a proper training camp, what comes out is essentially what you put in. Holyfield’s children told him not to do it. Holyfield’s open workout exposed there was nothing left before the exhibition. The moral of the story is “do not try to fool yourself” which Holyfield foolishly tried to do. Holyfield claimed referee Samuel Burgos stopped the exhibition bout too soon. From a spectator perspective, referee Burgos waited too long. Holyfield, in unreal deal form, did not face the music. What’s done is done.
Result: Vitor Belfort Exhibition TKO 1 Evander Holyfield, Heavyweights (1:50)
Referee: Samuel Burgos. Exhibitions Scheduled for eight round, two minute rounds.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel Casino Undercard Results
David Haye Win Exhibition 8 Joe Fournier, Heavyweights
Former World Cruiserweight and Heavyweight champion David Haye, age 40, 28-4 with 26 knockouts, Bermondsey, London, United Kingdom, dropped challenger Joe Fournier, age 38, 9-0 with nine knockouts, Westbourne Park, London, United Kingdom, in the first round en route to an eight round exhibition decision victory. Haye showed no interest in hurting or stopping his businessman boxing friend, and thus appeared to carry Fourier and give a decent show for Triller. It appeared doubtful the current version of Haye would be fit for Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Dillian Whyte or any main event heavyweight contender. Best advice to Haye is to go back into retirement and stay there.
Sanctioned Bout Results
Jono Carroll Win Majority Decision 10 Andy Vences, Super Featherweights
Irish southpaw Carroll rise to 20-2-1 with five knockouts, Dublin, Ireland. Vences falls to 23-3-1, 12 knockouts, San Jose, California.
Anthony Chavez Majority Draw 6 Diuhl Olguin, Super Featherweights
9-1-1 Chavez, Redlands, California, and 15-19-5 Olguin, Guadalajara, Mexico, draw.
Eliezer Silva (Pro Debut) Win 4 Terry Roscoe, Middleweights
Brazil’s Silva debuts. 2-6 Roscoe, Augusta, Georgia, down in the third round.