HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Evander Holyfield, months shy of his 59th birthday, was stopped on his feet by former UFC champion Vitor Belfort just 1:49 into the opening round on Saturday at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Belfort, 44, swarmed Holyfield from the opening bell and never let up in the Triller Fight Club main event as former President Donald Trump watched on from the commentary booth. The former heavyweight champion, one of boxing’s all-time greats, showed no resistance at all in his first fight since 2011.
A flurry of punches sent Holyfield to the canvas, and after he beat the count, Belfort let his hands go until the ref wisely stopped the fight, saving Holyfield from further punishment.
Belfort, who was boxing for just the second time after an illustrious MMA career, took the opportunity to set up what he hopes is his next fight.
“Hey Jake Paul, stop running from me,” Belfort said. “You can be my son. I’m going to put you in my lap. You’re going to sleep like a baby.”
Silva demolishes Ortiz in first-round KO
Anderson Silva is closer to 50 years old than he is to 40, but the UFC great, somehow, is currently embarking on a relatively successful boxing run.
Silva stopped fellow MMA legend Tito Ortiz via knockout at 1:21 of the first round Saturday night. Ortiz had Silva trapped in the corner, throwing punches. But Silva ducked an Ortiz shot and landed a huge counter right hook. Silva followed up with a left as Ortiz slumped against the corner to put him down for good. Ortiz was completely unconscious.
Silva defeated former world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. via split decision on June 12 in Guadalajara, Mexico. It was his first pro boxing match in 16 years. This was Ortiz’s pro boxing debut.
“I trained hard to show my respect for boxing,” Silva said in his postfight interview. “I continue to work every day to prove my respect for the martial arts and for Wing Chun and for Bruce Lee.
“The grandmaster Bruce Lee said, ‘Be water, my friend.’ That’s what I do today.”
Carroll edges Vences for majority decision
Jono Carroll outpointed Andy Vences Jr. via majority decision in a battle of 130-pound fringe contenders. One judge scored the 10-round bout 95-95, but was overruled by tallies of 97-93 and 97-93.
Carroll, the 29-year-old Irishman said he couldn’t see out of his right eye during the last five rounds but still boxed effectively and aggressively. Carroll (20-2-1, 5 KOs) once challenged Tevin Farmer for a 130-pound title but was defeated. He lost again last year, a unanimous decision against Maxi Hughes.
Vences (23-3-1, 12 KOs) has now lost two in a row and three of his last four after setbacks to Albert Bell and Luis Alberto Lopez. The 30-year-old from San Jose was released by Top Rank after the skid. This fight was originally slated for June 19 on the undercard of Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos Jr.
Haye toys with good friend Fournier, wins unanimous decision
David Haye scored a unanimous decision victory over Joe Fournier, his good buddy from England, in the PPV opener.
Scores were 79-72, 80-71 and 79-72 for the eight-round bout contested over two-minute rounds. Haye, a former heavyweight and cruiserweight champion, retired in 2019 after back-to-back losses to Tony Bellew.
The bout with Fournier was originally an exhibition. When the event moved from Los Angeles to the Miami area on eight days’ notice, the matchup was officially sanctioned by the Florida Athletic Commission.
Haye (28-4, 26 KOs) toyed with Fournier and clearly wasn’t trying to inflict damage on his pal. The 40-year-old Haye dropped him in the first round with a jab, but otherwise pawed with Fournier over the duration of the fight.
Fournier (9-0, 9 KOs) is a 38-year-old part-time boxer who competed in April on the Jake Paul-Ben Askren Triller undercard.
Anthony Chavez and Diuhl Olguin fought to a majority draw in their six-round junior lightweight battle. One judge had it 59-56 for Chavez, while the other two had the fight 57-57.
In his pro debut, Eliezer Silva dropped Terry Roscoe (2-6, 0 KOs) with a short left hand in Round 3 to cruise to a fourth-round unanimous decision victory (39-36, 39-36 and 39-36).