I already had zero interest in watching crumbling relics Vítor Belfort and Oscar De La Hoya exchange blows in the squared circle for Triller’s latest celebrity boxing cash grab, but when De La Hoya contracted COVID-19 and was forced to bow out, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when Evander Holyfield—the same Evander Holyfield who turns 59 in October and hadn’t fought in over a decade—was named as his replacement.
Apparently, neither could California, whose California State Athletic Commission refused to approve the bout and forced this farce of an event to relocate to Florida in order to proceed undeterred. And because cash is king, that’s exactly what happened this weekend when Holyfield’s refusal to retire from such a violent sport collided with the cruel reality that his days of being a heavyweight champion are far behind him—but only after he had the unfortunate privilege of colliding into Belfort’s fists.
In a fight that didn’t even last until the end of the first round and still somehow ended up going on for far too long, Holyfield suffered a humilating—and equally disturbing—TKO defeat that included him stumbling into the ropes like a drunken college student and eating a series of uppercuts that a man his age—or in his condition—has any business digesting.
Simply put, Triller should be ashamed of itself for greenlighting this bullshit—especially mere months after the Lamar Odom/Aaron Carter debacle in which a man with literal brain damage (and memory loss!) from a drug overdose got paid to take punches in the ring.
And if you think I’m alone in feeling this disgusted by what occurred this weekend, I’m far from alone in being deeply disturbed. Sometimes you have to stop people from harming themselves despite their wishes, and it’s clear that Holyfield has far too many “yes” men in his corner.
Making matters worse, Holyfield is insistent that his boxing career continues on with a long-rumored rematch with Mike Tyson.
“It is what it is,” he said after his loss on Saturday. “I’m not hurt. I think it was a bad call.”
Yo, enough is enough. Somebody’s gotta pull the plug on this bullshit before this man suffers real punishment—or worse—in the ring.