Due partially to his glacially slow performance at a recent open work-out, due in another big part to his age, plenty of Evander Holyfield fans, along with fight fans and boxing supporters in general, are a little uncomfortable right now. People are genuinely concerned about what may happen when 58-year-old Holyfield (he will turn 59 next month) gets in there and fights what is an officially sanctioned fight with MMA warrior Vitor Belfort.
In fact, tomorrow’s card in Miami, Florida has been heavily criticised in many quarters. David Haye will return, at age 40, this against a veritable novice. It is, however, the main event that has most people worried. What if, heaven forbid, Holyfield gets hurt and hurt bad? As in permanently? Holyfield, his speechless than steady for some years, has also shown those slowed reflexes. How he can take a heavy punch to the head when aged almost 60 nobody knows. We should not be getting as answer to the question.
After all he went through in the ring during his truly astounding career – epic wars with, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Mike Dokes, Riddick Bowe X3, George Foreman, Ray Mercer, and so many more – Evander should today be sat with his feet up, his at times supernatural ability to soak up punishment never to be seen again. But here comes Holyfield again, after ten years out of the ring, with the faded reflexes that were there for all to see in his open work-out.
Belfort, no spring chicken himself in his mid-forties, assures us all not to worry. “No-one will get hurt in tomorrow’s fight,” the tough cauliflower-eared one told Fight Hub shortly after today’s official presser in Miami.
“Don’t worry,” Belfort said in response to being asked what he says to the folks out there who are concerned about the damage he may inflict on Holyfield. “Evander’s ready, we’re ready to put on a great show for you. No one gets hurt – I promise you. No-one gets hurt in Triller. We have referees, we have coaches, we have tremendous staff. This is not a backyard fight. No, this is competition, with people, doctors, so it’s a legitimate sport.”
Let’s all hope Belfort is right (about no one getting hurt; tomorrow’s fight is not, in the opinion of most, a “legitimate” fight). “No-one gets hurt,” and that’s a promise from one of the two fighters. But is it ever worth taking the risk with a man who is almost 60 years of age? We all know the answer to that one.