Boxing legend Evander Holyfield has been utterly embarrassed in his Triller Fight Club battle with former UFC champion Vitor Belfort on Sunday morning AEST.
The 58-year-old didn’t even last two minutes with Belfort winning via a devastating TKO stoppage after 1:49 in the first round.
Making his first appearance in more than a decade, Holyfield entered the ring to a rapturous applause from the Florida crowd.
Holyfield attempted a couple of heavy blows in the first round, but Belfort responded with a barrage of punches that knocked his rival onto the deck twice in the space of one minute.
The Brazilian was relentless after Holyfield returned to his feet, peppering the American legend until the referee had no choice but the wave off the fight.
“I’m not hurt,” Holyfield said after the defeat.
“It is what it is. I think it was a bad call.”
Regardless, boxing pundits agreed Holyfield would not have lasted much longer if the fight had continued.
Former US President Donald Trump said in commentary: “You could see right from the beginning he was not the same fighter.
“He had lost a lot. That left jab was very slow.
“We said from the first minute you could see immediately that that was not Evander. There was no snap.
“It’s so unusual to see because we have watched him for a big part of our lives just win.”
There were fears for Holyfield’s safety in the lead up to the fight and history will show it should never have been allowed to go ahead.
Boxing guru Dan Rafael described the fight as “rock bottom” for the sport of boxing.
Holyfield had stepped in to face Belfort, 44, after former boxing great Oscar De La Hoya was forced out of a one-off comeback bout because of Covid-19.
The bout was moved from Los Angeles’ Staples Center to Florida after California boxing authorities refused to sanction a battle between Brazilian mixed martial arts star Belfort and former heavyweight world champion Holyfield – who will be a month shy of his 59th birthday on fight night.
Holyfield hadn’t fought since 2011, but he had signed to fight Kevin McBride earlier this year – with a possible future fight against his old nemesis Mike Tyson on the horizon.
Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr attended the event acting as boxing commentators for Holyfield’s long-awaited return.
The former President made a surprise visit with New York City police and firemen in the early hours of Sunday morning to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
However, he was spotted just hours later on the live boxing telecast which has been taking place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Trump flew down the east coast of the country and was front and centre when the first fight of the night began.
It was revealed this week Trump was reportedly earning an “obscene” amount of money to feature on the broadcast.
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