An upcoming boxing match between Evander Holyfield and Vitor Belfort came under increased scrutiny this week.
Holyfield was originally supposed to take on fellow boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya. When the latter got COVID-19 and couldn’t continue, Belfort stepped in – forcing the fight to be moved to Florida.
Holyfield was denied a boxing license from the California State Athletic Commission years ago due to ‘diminished skills,’ making many question how he could possibly be permitted to lace them up once more this time around.
During a recent appearance on Showtime’s “Below The Belt” show combat sports veteran Brendan Schaub raised some very serious questions about Holyfield’s physical wellbeing.
Per Brendan Schaub, Evander Holyfield needed an aide to attend a charity event seven years ago. pic.twitter.com/XPxW9Q0Qlp
— Borrachinha Depot (@FullContactMTWF) September 8, 2021
“I was at a charity function with Evander seven years ago, and he had to have a handler to steer him where to go cause he didn’t know where he was at, so I don’t know if he should be fighting,” Schaub said.
“But Evander, I have no idea how he’s going to look like (against Belfort). Now, when I saw him at that charity function, maybe he had some drinks, I don’t know, maybe he was just out of it. But a guy did have to whisper in his ear everybody’s name and show him where to go.”
Is Schaub telling the truth? It’s impossible to say. But his comments have led to many wondering whether this fight should be scrapped altogether – for the wellbeing of all parties involved.
Jake Paul won twice last night. https://t.co/hwq8OroRtW
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 30, 2021
This is just the latest circus-style boxing event to hit the sport in recent years. Not long ago, Mike Tyson got loaded on toad venom and fought Roy Jones Jr. More recently, other notable personalities have made small fortunes capitalizing on the public’s desire to see boxing matches with people they actually recognize.
Will Holyfield’s bout with Belfort proceed despite all the controversy? Probably. Should it, though? That’s for everyone to figure out on their own.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.