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Home » Evander Holyfield cleared for pro fight as VADA outline brain bleed dangers

Evander Holyfield cleared for pro fight as VADA outline brain bleed dangers

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  • 3 min read

Evander Holyfield got the all-clear to participate in a professional boxing match at the age of 58, at the same time VADA outlined the dangers.

The Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency confirmed what World Boxing News stated over the last few days: the brain deteriorates considerably after 40.

Taking punches to the head, especially heavyweight punches, can be fatal with a single blow without even considering that fact.

Holyfield turns 59 next month. Therefore, his risks of being seriously hurt or affected long-term are significant.

Vitor Belfort is 44, a full fourteen years younger than Holyfield. The former UFC star is in tremendous shape for the contest.

Always fit himself. It’s not Holyfield’s body that is the concern here. When approaching his sixties, the boxing legend has no business participating in a pro bout.

VADA aired their concerns about the headline fight.

“After 40, our brain shrinks on average 5% per decade. This means the bridging veins connecting the brain to its coverings are at increased risk of tearing and increases the risk of brain bleeds when the head is hit. Safety first,” they said.

Evander Holyfield John David Jackson preparing for Vitor Belfort
Amanda Westcott


Despite the apparent issues regarding Holyfield taking to the ring, the Florida Commission – who licensed the former heavyweight champion when California refused, is adamant there are no problems.

“The Florida Athletic Commission has approved the Evander Holyfield vs. Vitor Belfort bout as a fully regulated professional boxing match.

“It will be conducted under the Unified Rules of Boxing and scored by three judges on the 10-point must system.

“All boxers on this card have successfully met all requirements to be licensed by the Florida Athletic Commission,” said Triller.

Effectively, Triller is gambling on the case that nothing happens to Holyfield during the fight. But they cannot guarantee anyone’s safety. Nobody can.

Holyfield is at an increased risk at his age, having already been affected by a lengthy and substantially battle-hardened career lasting 26 years until retirement at 48.

Now 58 and out of the ring for ten years, Holyfield’s brain will be used to relaxing and not getting hit, which makes Belfort bashing him all the more detrimental.

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.