The Triller Fight Club card was moved on just six days’ notice from Los Angeles to its new home of Hollywood, Florida, after a positive COVID test to fellow Hall of Famer Oscar De La Hoya left the card in need of a new headliner. Enter Holyfield (44-10-2, 29 KOs), boxing’s only four-time heavyweight champion, who wrapped up his 27-year pro career in 2011.
The fact that the Florida State Athletic Commission was so willing to sanction the bout after its California counterpart refused remains one of the more troubling aspects of the fight card.
Aging boxing superstar Evander Holyfield and former UFC champion Vitor Belfort are fighting this weekend. And if that wasn’t weird enough, former US President Donald Trump is apparently going to be on commentary duties. This could be the weirdest combat sport event of 2021 and in a year where YouTubers Logan Paul and Jake Paul have taken over boxing, that’s saying something.
According to a statement issued by Triller Fight Club, Trump will “host and commentate” at the Sept. 11 event, joined by his son, Donald Trump Jr.
Holyfield vs. Belfort press conference video
Originally, legendary fighter Oscar De La Hoya, 48, who retired in 2009, was set to fight Brazilian ex-UFC champion Vitor Belfort, 44, in an exhibition bout. But earlier this month, De La Hoya posted a video shot from a hospital bed. He has COVID-19 and can’t fight.
“I have contracted Covid and am not going to be able to fight next weekend,” De La Hoya tweeted. “Preparing for this comeback has been everything to me over the last months, & I want to thank everyone for their tremendous support.”
Hey guys, I am out of the hospital. I was in there for 3 days. COVID hit me really hard. I was in the best shape of my life and I really can’t wait to get back in the ring. Thank you very much for all your well wishes and all your support. I appreciate it. pic.twitter.com/9XIKfKpDf6
— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) September 8, 2021
Evander Holyfield, 58, agreed to step in and fight Belfort. Holyfield turns 59 on Oct. 19.
Evander Holyfield vs. Vitor Belfort
Tito Ortiz vs. Anderson Silva
David Haye vs. Joe Fournier
Andy Vences vs. Jono Carroll
Date: September 11 | Start time: 7 p.m. ET (main card)
Location: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino — Hollywood, Florida
TV: Triller Fight Club PPV | Price: $49.99
Although Holyfield opened as the betting favorite, the video of how slow his hand speed was during the open workout quickly flipped the odds in Belfort’s favor. Getting a glimpse of a shirtless Belfort at the same event had a similar effect.
From the standpoint of experience and technique, the advantages fall almost overwhelmingly in Holyfield’s favor, as does the fact that he has remained in incredible physical shape throughout his 10-year retirement.
LIVE! Watch ‘Holyfield Vs. Belfort’ On PPV
Former Cruiserweight and Heavyweight undisputed world champion, EVANDER ‘REAL DEAL’ HOLYFIELD will battle Former UFC Light Heavyweight champion, VITOR ‘THE PHENOM’ BELFORT, in an eight-round boxing showdown set for Sat., Sept. 11, 2021, streaming online via Triller pay-per-view (PPV). “Holyfield vs. Belfort,” which will take place inside Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., start time is slated for 7 p.m. ET, with a PPV price tag of $49.99. The PPV also features UFC legends Tito Ortiz and Anderson Silva, as well as an appearance from former POTUS, Donald Trump!
The event was supposed to take place at Staples Center in De La Hoya’s hometown of Los Angeles, but it’s been moved to The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. According to a report from ESPN, the California State Athletic Commission refused to sanction Holyfield-Belfort.
The coast-to-coast move certainly makes it more convenient for the Florida-based former president, who reportedly will be at the fight in person.
How to watch Evander Holyfield vs. Vitor Belfort
To watch the fight night on pay-per-view, go to Fite TV to purchase the $49.99 package, which includes unlimited replays until Dec. 11, 2021. Or order it through your existing cable, satellite or telecommunications provider.
To hear the Trumps’ commentary during each match, viewers will need to use the secondary audio function (SAP) on their cable box or TV set, pay-per-view provider iNDemand said in a statement.
How and why are the Trumps involved?
Donald Trump is hardly new to combat sports. He’s a longtime friend of Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Trump’s past involvement with hosting major boxing events at his hotels and casinos earned him a place in New Jersey’s Boxing Hall of Fame.
For the Sept. 11 event, the Trumps will offer commentary on all four of the evening’s fights. But they’re not the only soundtrack available. Viewers can pick between the Trumps narrating the fight, or regular commentators Jim Lampley and Shawn Porter.