58 Year Old Evander Holyfield Replaces De La Hoya For Vitor Belfort Bout

Evander Holyfield Gets Back Into The Ring For The First Time In 10 Years

Evander Holyfield snickers at the media; Oscar De La Hoya lying in a hospital bed; Vitor Belfort wraps his hands.
From left to bottom right: Evander Holyfield, Oscar De La Hoya and Vitor Belfort.

Evander Holyfield To Fill In For Infected Oscar De La Hoya

For those that love the sweet science, it’s common knowledge that more often than not fighters fight too long. The vast number of pugilists simply mismanaged their money and can’t afford to sit down. Then there are other boxers who are powerless to resist the siren call of the gladiator pit, and the glory that it promises. To hear the roar of the colosseum one more time, boxing legend Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield (44-10-2, 29 KO’s) will slide on his gloves anew. Holyfield will stage his first fight in ten years to face the challenge of MMA star Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort (1-0, 1 KO’s) on September 11.

The Real Deal will be 58 years-old when the slides through the straps for the contest.


Originally, Belfort was supposed to square off with former world champion turned boxing promoter Oscar “The Golden Boy” De La Hoya. Those plans burned to ash when De La Hoya contracted COVID-19 and had to withdraw from the bout. In the days after making his announcement, the Golden Boy posted a video of himself writhing in a hospital bed as visual verification of his situation. Apparently, rather than scrap the event, the ever vigilant Holyfield was ready and willing to answer the call of duty.


It’s beyond ridiculous that Holyfield is being allowed to fight. Of course we can all see that the Real Deal has maintained his physique and is probably still quite strong. Nevertheless, this does not in any way qualify this senior to be bludgeoned in the head.

For some perspective, two weeks before his professional debut on November 15, 1984, the original “Terminator” premiered in theatres and “Dynasty” was the most popular show on TV. “JR” was still alive when Holyfield collected his first unanimous decision victory almost four decades ago.

On the one hand though, there is something universally poetic about this bout being officially announced now. Dark as it may be, the authorization of this bout is just one more piece of damning evidence illustrating how capriciously the lives of fighters are taken. For example, the WBC has just proven their Clean Boxing Program to be a sham outfit that’s unwilling to abide by their own rules.

When WBC super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez popped dirty, the storied sanctioning body opted to give him a shady pass. Valdez will fight on the same weekend that Holyfield does. On September 10, a confirmed PED’s user will compete in a world title fight in the main event with impunity. Then the next day, a near 60-year old man, out of competition for ten years, will compete with less than two weeks notice.

All of this greedy recklessness is taking place less than one week since the tragic passing of 18 year old Jeanette Zacarias Zapatas. Said to say, when fighters step in the ring, for better or worse it’s for keeps. It’d just be nice if the powers that be showed more compassion and accountability, rather treating the boxers like back alley fight dogs meant to gamble on and nothing much more.

By: Bakari Simpson

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Bakari is a writer and contributor for 3kingsboxing.com. Visit cheetahhead.com to view more of his literary work.