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Evander Holyfield vs Vitor Belfort fight rules including judges and knockouts

Holyfield steps up on a week’s notice to fight MMA legend Belfort after the Brazilian’s original opponent, Oscar De La Hoya, was forced out due to Covid-19

Fans fear for Evander Holyfield after press conference gaffes

Ring legend Evander Holyfield fights former UFC star Vitor Belfort this weekend with questions being raised to the ruleset of the fight.

The 58-year-old Holyfield will first for the first time in over a decade when he meets Belfort in Florida on Saturday night.

The fight was not approved to take place as a professional bout by the California State Athletic Commission, but the event was later moved to Florida and approved by the state’s commission.

Fans have feared the worst for Holyfield against Belfort, as he looked feeble at the pre-fight press conference and stuttered when answering questions.

Here, we break down the rules and regulations of what will happen in the early hours of Sunday morning….

1. Rounds

Promoters of the event – Triller – originally scheduled the fight for eight three-minute rounds.

We now know for sure that the fight will be eight two-minute rounds tonight with a minute rest in between.

As the Florida commission has approved the fight, it will appear on both Holyfield and Belfort’s professional records.

Holyfield and Belfort weigh in for their fight



2. Gloves and headguards

The two will wear 12oz gloves, a step down compared to the 10oz gloves Holyfield used and 4oz gloves Belfort used during most of their careers.

As the fight has been sanctioned as a professional bout, both Holyfield and Belfort will not wear headguards.

Holyfield insists he is prepared for a return to professional fighting.

“Boxing is a game and I know how to prepare for it against Vitor Belfort. I’m sure if I was getting in his game, I’d be in trouble but he’s getting into my game so he’s in trouble,” he said.

“I’ve been training for over two years because there were fights mentioned against other fighters. I realise now as I prepare to face Belfort I’m in good shape and I don’t get out of shape.

“It’s not so much that I miss it but people always ask about Mike Tyson and I fighting. They’ve offered so much money that I would definitely take a chance against someone I’ve already beat.

“I think I look alright but this is after two years of solid training.

“When I was young I didn’t have any bad habits and so I’m older now and feel good. I learned my whole life you’ll never be successful in life if you don’t take chances, that’s throughout my whole career.”

3. Knockdowns and knockouts

A professional bout means we could see knockdowns and knockouts coming from either side.

The Executive Director of the Florida State Boxing Commission said in a statement: “All boxers on this card have successfully met all requirements to be licensed by the Florida Athletic Commission.”

Belfort is confident he can come out on top, saying this week: “Evander’s a hall of famer and I’m very excited to be fighting him.

“The king of the jungle is the lion, not the elephant, I’m smaller than Evander but I’m the lion. Speed and power are more important than size.

“It’s about hit and don’t get hit, I know how strong Evander is. It’s about fighting a smart fight on Saturday night.”

4. Scoring and winner

Three judges will be at ringside to score the fight if it goes the distance, with a 10-point must system in effect.

As Holyfield vs Belfort has been sanctioned as a pro bout, there will be an official winner if both fighters reach the final bell.

Holyfield – who turns 59 next month – gave an uncertain prediction on how the fight will go after weighing in, stating: “You know, it all depends on what he can handle.”

And when asked if the result would depend on how much punishment Belfort could take, Holyfield unnervingly said: “Well yeah, that’s all in the game.”

Meanwhile, Belfort was confident in his prediction and said Holyfield is the perfect opponent for just his second appearance in the ring.

He stated: “It’s a W, it’s a win. Minute by minute, second by second. Just focus on what I control, that’s all I do. Be able to enjoy every moment.

“Boxing is a passion of mine for a long time and I’ve been applying it in a different field. Now I’ll be able to enjoy it against one of the greatest in the world. So I couldn’t ask for a better opponent.”

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