Opinion: Evander Holyfield is in serious danger, looked awful on the pads

Phil Jay
Evander Holyfield John David Jackson preparing for Vitor Belfort
Amanda Westcott

There’s a joke doing the rounds on social media that Evander Holyfield is 0-1 on the pads after fans witnessed a horror show of a session this week.

Holyfield, 58, looks sluggish, slow, and old as he tried to work out with John David Jackson. The problem is, this is far from a joke.

This is real life, and Holyfield is in danger. Fourteen years his junior, Vitor Belfort looks like a beast compared to “The Real Deal.”

How on earth this fight got sanctioned is anyone’s guess, but somebody needs to see sense before the bell goes at the weekend.

Once a great champion, Holyfield is twenty years past his past and looked bad at the end of his first boxing run, which ended when he was 48.

His determination is commendable. However, I fear for the man who struggled to get his words out when I interviewed him a few years ago.

Even then, he still wanted to fight. Nothing had changed as Holyfield spoke at a media event this week.

“I’ve been training for over two years because there were fights mentioned against other fighters. I realize now as I prepare to face Belfort, I’m in good shape. I don’t get out of shape,” pointed out Holyfield.

“It’s not so much that I miss it, but people always ask about Mike Tyson and I fighting. They’ve offered so much money that I would definitely take a chance against someone I’ve already beat.

“I think I look alright, but this is after two years of solid training.”

HOLYFIELD TRAINING

On how his training has gone. Holyfield added: “When I was young, I didn’t have any bad habits, and so I’m older now and feel good.

“I learned my whole life you’ll never be successful in life if you don’t take chances. That’s throughout my whole career.”

“When Oscar De La Hoya came down with Covid, they asked me to fight Vitor Belfort.

“Training is what I do like I tell the young people if you do things right, it will work out for you. That works for older folks too.”

Concluding on facing Belfort, Holyfield said: “Boxing is a game, and I know how to prepare for it against Vitor Belfort.

“I’m sure if I was getting in his game, I’d be in trouble, but he’s getting into my game, so he’s in trouble.”

I’m truly fearful of this event. It’s definitely not entertainment.

The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.

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