Evander Holyfield is one of the biggest names in the boxing world, known for his infamous clash with Mike Tyson where Iron Mike bit a chunk of his ear off in a bout that has gone down in the history books.
Despite that being arguably the most notorious moment of his career, he’s still a major name in the sport who accomplished a lot.
He became the undisputed cruiserweight champion in the 1980s and repeated the feat in the 1990s as a heavyweight competitor. Holyfield is the only boxer in the history of the sport to achive that coveted undisputed tag at two weight classes.
A dominant force in the 1980s and 1990s, The Real Deal accumulated a wide range of supporters and accolades, so seeing him take on an exhibition fight to entertain those fans back in 2021 will be no shock after seeing these types of bouts become more prevalent.
It was his first fight since retiring from the sport in 2014, with him taking on Belfort after he was left high and dry after his scheduled bout with Kevin McBride not going ahead.
Unfortunately for boxing fans everywhere and especially Holyfield supporters, his return to the ring following a seven-year absence was a disaster.
The fight didn’t even last a full round, with Holyfield losing via technical knockout to his opponent who was 14 years his junior and had just one boxing bout to call upon for experience against the former heavyweight champion of the world.
Towards the end of the opening round, Holyfield was stunned, hitting the canvas following an uppercut from his opponent.
He was able to continue, with the referee counting to nine with Holyfield on his feet confirming he was good to continue.
Continue he did, but for less than 30 seconds as Belfort unleashed a flurry of punches on his opponent who was pinned to the ropes. Holyfield couldn’t respond and while he was trying to defend the onslaught, the referee stepped in to save him.
Holyfield obviously wasn’t going to be anywhere near his best from his prime years, that’s a given for any retired athlete in the later years of life, but to see him unable to compete and fall to an early defeat like he did was sad to see for boxing fans everywhere.