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Evander Holyfield's return tale didn't exactly go as planned.
In fact, it was so hard to watch that savage boxing fans have now unloaded on Holyfield as well as the entire event itself, with some labelling it "sad" and a "disgrace".
At 58 years of age, one of boxing's greatest made his return to the ring over the weekend.
But unlike his age-old rival Mike Tyson, Holyfield's second coming was far from impressive and ended up lasting for less than two minutes.
Vitor Belfort's pressure proved to be too much for Evander Holyfield.
(via @OmarESPN) pic.twitter.com/wlR89gCjJC
- ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) September 12, 2021
The former world champion was on the receiving end of a brutal TKO at the hands of mixed martial arts great Vitor Belfort.
In Holyfield's first professional bout in more than a decade, his performance left many people calling for him to retire - this time for good.
Holyfield looked lively in the first exchanges, trying to land a barrage of heavy shots on his opponent.
But it didn't take long for Belfort to land a few blows of his own which ended up dropping Holyfield twice in the space of one minute.
On the first occasion, the 58-year-old fell into the ropes awkwardly before eventually finding his feet.
VIDEO :rotating_light: Crowd Breaks Out in 'We Love Trump!' Chants at Holyfield vs. Belfort Fight in Florida
- Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) September 12, 2021
Vitor Belfort just destroyed Evander Holyfield
We just witnessed elderly abuse on live TV #HolyfieldBelfort #TrillerFightClub pic.twitter.com/2jxTzUF4iq
- :flag_au: (@SlawsomeMMA) September 12, 2021
Then, as Belfort rained down punch after punch on the aged warrior, the referee was left with no choice but to wave off the bout.
"The thing is, there wasn't a shot that hurt me real bad,' Holyfield said after the bout.
"He was strong, and it was a shot that knocked me off balance. Then he went to close the show. No, I'm not hurt.
"It's kind of sad. I think it was a bad call. The referee shouldn't have stopped the fight that quick.
"The guy was strong, but when people have fast hands, I was trying to be on defence."
Well, it seems not everyone agrees.
Evander Holyfield is turning 59 years old next month. He hasn't fought in 10 years. He wasn't scheduled to fight as of two weeks ago. Whoever sanctioned this should be arrested. https://t.co/T0vRylF61s
- Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) September 12, 2021
Everyone from casual sports fans to boxing purists unloaded on the event, slamming organisers for allowing a man close to his 60s to step foot inside the ring.
UFC fighter Adrian Yanez tweeted: "This hurts my soul... we shouldn't have seen a 58 year old Holyfield in the ring. Would definitely rather it have been Oscar lol."
While talkSPORT editor Michael Benson added: "58-year-old Evander Holyfield floored and stopped inside the first round by Vitor Belfort. Not pleasant to watch."
But perhaps the most damning assessment came from former ESPN reporter Arash Markazi.
"Evander Holyfield is turning 59 years old next month. He hasn't fought in 10 years," Markazi said.
"He wasn't scheduled to fight as of two weeks ago. Whoever sanctioned this should be arrested."
This hurts my soul... we shouldn't have seen a 58 year old Holyfield in the ring. Would definitely rather it have been Oscar lol. #HolyfieldBelfort
- Adrian Yanez (@yanezmma) September 12, 2021
58-year-old Evander Holyfield floored and stopped inside the first round by Vitor Belfort. Not pleasant to watch.
- Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) September 12, 2021
Holyfield is almost 60 yrs, hasn't fought in a decade & they just scheduled him 2 weeks ago when De La Hoya dropped out ? How did this even get sanctioned ? If the ppl he supports actually supported him, they wouldn't have allow this fight to happen. Shame on EVERYONE involved pic.twitter.com/WBERoAIqfJ
- Etan Thomas (@etanthomas36) September 12, 2021
Evander Holyfield showed us what a 60 year old in the boxing ring looks like, everybody going to hell.
- Ahmed/Nigga Who Get Babes :flag_so: (@big_business_) September 12, 2021
Happy for vitor but man IT sucks to see HOLYFIELD like that.
- Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) September 12, 2021
Holyfield just too old...
Still a legend
- Charles V Payne (@cvpayne) September 12, 2021
Despite the demoralising defeat, Holyfield remained high in spirits after the bout.
While his next career move isn't nailed on just yet, the boxing great gave us a small hint on what he'd like to do at some point in the near future.
Asked by rapper 50 Cent if he would still like to do a trilogy with Tyson, Holyfield replied: "Of course I would."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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