Sunday, October 24, 2021

Mendoza: Fearful for Holyfield

Last Round

Looking at Evander Holyfield’s physique during the weigh-in for his fight with Vitor Belfort made me green with envy.

At 58 years, “The Real Deal” still looked to be in phenomenal condition for a man of his age, looking relatively jacked with bulging muscles and rock hard abdominals.

Belfort at 44 wasn’t too shabby either. He showed up in tremendous shape, his ripped arms full of striations. But what I saw at the videos of Holyfield hitting the mitts was a bit disconcerting. He looked painfully slow and you could pretty much acknowledge the precipitous drop in his reflexes from when he was still an active fighter.

EXHIBITION. Interestingly, Holyfield has been given the option of deciding whether or not this fight will be a mere exhibition or will go into his record as a professional boxing match.

This is the first time I have heard of this, but I guess they are giving the living legend a lot of leeway on this.

Remember that this fight had to be moved from California to Florida because the California State Athletic Commission refused to sanction it.

Is there real danger in this fight, you ask?

Yes, of course. We have an adage in the “Sweet Science” that says you can play tennis, or chess or basketball but you don’t “play” boxing.

This is the hurt business and make no mistake about it, regardless of your age or physical condition, your opponent is not just there to win. He is there to hurt you in order to get that win.

While physically Holyfield looked fine during the weigh-in, it will be a totally different story when heavy artillery is exchanged.

Still, my fears and apprehensions are allayed by the fact that his remarkable size advantage in this fight will benefit him. Holyfield came in at 225 lbs to Belfort’s 206 and come fight time, he will come in even heavier.

WEIGHT. Speaking of heavy, former UFC champion Tito Ortiz who will also make his pro boxing debut against UFC legend Anderson Silva, missed the mark as he came in at 200 lbs. (five pounds over the limit). This fight will serve as the chief undercard, but I do think this will be competitive.

There are levels to this and Silva is a much better boxer than Ortiz will ever be. When he was at his peak at the UFC, Silva even openly challenged Roy Jones Jr. to a boxing match.

I’ve been watching the videos Tito posted during training wherein he openly admits it was hard to make the weight. Now that he has officially botched it, he will forfeit a portion of his purse to Silva.

LAST ROUNDS. These are on my good friends, lawyers Carrie dela Serna-Unchuan and Marie dela Serna-Teves who are celebrating their birthdays this week. Cheers to my favorite twins!


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