Former Mike Tyson Trainer Teddy Atlas is never one to pull any punches, and this wasn’t the case on the Evander Holyfield farce.
Atlas waded straight in by entitling his latest newsletter, “Boxing Is A Mess,” when commenting on Holyfield’s loss at 58.
Vitor Belfort, 44, took out boxing’s only two-weight undisputed cruiser and heavyweight champion in 109 seconds.
Holyfield since got urged to stay away from competing inside the ropes.
Beginning bluntly, Atlas said: “That wasn’t The Real Deal.
“The Evander Holyfield we saw get stopped by former UFC champion Vitor Belfort in the Triller main event was a shadow of his old self.
“This is a man who was a two-weight undisputed world champion. He holds victories over George Foreman, Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, and many other Hall of Famers.
“Boxing fans all over the world are virtually unanimous in the agreement. Holyfield shouldn’t have been in the ring, aged 58, without a professional fight in ten years.
“But the concerns didn’t matter. Ultimately, the man is a fighter. He went out, like so many legends before him, unrecognizable from his prime years.
“Belfort’s celebrations post-fight caused controversy. His past history of PED use and significant age gap with Holyfield compared with his original opponent Oscar De La Hoya.
“It raises questions as to how even he was allowed to be in the ring, to begin with.
“Whether it’s down to the lack of financial support for retired fighters or the failure on the part of the promoters to make the biggest fights for the fans, these kinds of events arise as a result of Boxing’s own flaws.
“Unless we pressure our sport to be better, these sideshows are only going to keep enticing retired fighters back in with the thrill of the fight and the promise of a payday.
“As we saw [with Holyfield vs. Belfort], our legends deserve better than this.
We can’t wait to hear Teddy’s follow on 55-year-old Riddick Bowe’s Celebrity Boxing match.
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