Evander Holyfield is boxing former UFC champion Vitor Belfort in the Triller Fight Club main event this Sat. night (Sept. 11, 2021) inside Hard Rock Seminole in Hollywood, Florida, after original opponent, Oscar De La Hoya, was struck down by COVID-19.
Holyfield would have fought longtime boxing rival Mike Tyson instead of “The Phenom,” but “reliable sources” told Triller boss Ryan Kavanaugh that “Iron” is afraid of getting knocked out by “The Real Deal” and turned down the fight.
I guess the bookies had it backward.
“We have an offer out to Mike,” Kavanaugh told Sky Sports. “We know he is trying to stage a fight with Lennox Lewis. We have been told that he is scared to fight Evander. There has been back and forth hoopla, there is a massive payday ready for Mike to fight on Thanksgiving. A massive payday, one of his biggest. But we can’t seem to push it along. Now I have heard, from a number of reliable sources, that Mike is too scared. He thinks Evander would knock him out.”
I’m sure this ugly turn of events had something to do with it.
Holyfield defeated Tyson by way of technical knockout when they first went to war back in 1996, then captured a disqualification victory the following June when the erratic Tyson suffered a mid-fight meltdown and treated “Real Deal” like a chocolate Easter bunny.
Tyson returned to the ring last November opposite fellow aging pugilist Roy Jones Jr., and early reports have “Iron” looking to book his next bout against former opponent Lennox Lewis, which is arguably a more dangerous fight than the 58 year-old Holyfield.
As of this writing, that rematch has yet to be made official.