World Boxing Council chiefs got together this week to discuss the fallout of former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield’s knockout last weekend.
Holyfield capitulated on 109 seconds against Vitor Belfort. But the warning signs were clear for all to see at the pre-fight workout.
“The Real Deal” looked slow, sluggish, and bereft of sufficient movement. This scenario proved to be the case on fight night too.
Fans and media were up in arms regarding the Pay Per View event that reportedly netted Triller $7.5 million in sales.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman and others talked it over and fired a warning to those who plan to organize future events involving boxing legends.
“In a brief summary of the fights that transpired over the weekend, including the return of the 58 years, the great former world heavyweight and cruiserweight world champion Evander Holyfield, who Vitor Belfort defeated via TKO.
“This episode was described as a nostalgic night. But seeing a great man like Evander Holyfield lose in that way was extremely sad.
“He is a boxing legend who built a glorious history in our sport. He hadn`t fought since he defeated Brian Nielsen in 2011!
“World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman said there is a deep concern for all those boxers who, after years of retirement, are trying to return to the ring.
“He clarified that it is not the same to do an exhibition bout as to go through it as a fully-fledged fight.
“So, and accordingly, the WBC is taking action with the different commissions to apply maximum priority attention to these fights. To be extremely strict as well as vigilant with medical protocols.
“Likewise, the President of the WBC explained that times are changing. Today we have to accept it.
“New generations are approaching boxing, and we must be empathetic and open to changes. But only so long as the integrity and wellbeing of those who fight are not put at risk.”
He added: “Given this very problematic situation, the World Boxing Council will immediately start a campaign. We wish to raise awareness among fighters, promoters, entertainment promotion companies, businessmen, and other people in the industry.
“So that they understand the dangers of returning great legends to fight, often, long after retirement.”