Triller: Holyfield vs Belfort Predictions

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Triller: Holyfield vs Belfort Predictions

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I’m sure you have all made up your mind by now on what Holyfield vs Belfort represents. Too quickly slide through my own opinion: Boxing still fails ex-professionals to manage their funds and prepare for a life outside of boxing. Holyfield is 58, likely suffering from a level of CTE already and far, far past his best. This isn’t a similar case of Mike Tyson vs RJJ. Tyson was a larger, fitter man than Holyfield currently is, while RJJ wasn’t so far removed from the professional ranks. Instead, Holyfield is most likely fighting to earn a much-needed payday. Losing his mansion back in 2012, a series of failed business ventures (record label, restaurant, product) and 11 to 6 women all suggest that he needs a Triller payday. Of course, Triller and the boxing commissions are scum for allowing the event to happen, but that’s life – it’s full of profit-driven businessmen.

Right, little soapbox rant over. There are far lengthier and better-explained arguments against this circus show to be found online. The rest of the card is so-so. Anderson Silva takes a huge step down to face off against Tito Ortiz. The two former MMA veterans both reached the top of the sport, but Silva has proven his boxing skill with a shock victory over Cesar Chavez Jr. It was only a couple of years ago that Ortiz took his time dispatching of a dreadfully over-the-hill, Chuck Liddell. David Haye fights his rich mate for God knows what reason, in a fight should amount to little more than a playful spar or at worse, a complete fix.

A tiny, mad Irishman who brings the heat every fight - what's not to love? | Holyfield vs Belfort
A tiny, mad Irishman who brings the heat every fight – what’s not to love? | Holyfield vs Belfort

Holyfield vs Belfort: Main Event

Evander Holyfield (44-10, 29KO) vs Vitor Belfort (1-0, 1KO)

Heavyweight (200+)

Evander Holyfield

I could sit here and write an essay of just how good Evander Holyfield was in his prime, and his twilight. Career juicer or not, The Real Deal established himself as the first Cruiserweight GOAT before enjoying a lengthy and successful stint at Heavyweight. While his chin was legendary, Holyfield’s creativity in the ring was perhaps his bread and butter. Beautiful flowing footwork, Holyfield was a never-ending force that continued to dance in and out of striking range. An elderly Larry Holmes was left unable to land his patent jab due to Holyfield’s total control over distance. Off this movement, Holyfield set a fearsome pace that opponents had to match or eventually switch off to the erratic movements. In the former, Holyfield would win based on volume or breaking down the opponent through superior physical gifts. For the latter, Holyfield would snap into rapid counters on a lazy opponent unable to time The Real Deal.

This isn’t the same Holyfield of today, however. The Holyfield of today is a plodder in comparison. In his last fight against Brian Nielsen, taking place over a decade ago, Holyfield still attempted his bouncing footwork but was too slow to keep himself on the outside of Nielsen’s punches. There is no denying that Evander is in incredible visible shape for a man of his age, but he looks weak hitting the pads these days. The hips don’t snap with ease, the combinations are strained and there is no real knowing just how well his chin will hold up anymore. I will say though, the pull counter is pretty crisp. Owing to his superb technique throughout his career, Holyfield’s efficient mechanics most likely mask his natural deterioration.

Vitor Belfort

Vitor Belfort, the big Brazilian juice box, was once the scariest man on the planet. Since starting his MMA career back in 1996, Belfort has racked up one of the flashiest highlight reels ever seen. Destructive knockouts over Wanderlei Silva, Rich Franklin, Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold – there is a reason no one wanted to fight TRT Vitor. Sure, Belfort can transfer over some of the same striking principles to boxing, but he was never the most polished boxer.

Based on freshness and considerably less brain trauma, Belfort should be considered a heavy favourite in this match-up. He may not have fought since 2018, but Belfort still appears powerful in the pre-fight workouts. Belfort is a hard-hitting Southpaw who is more than happy to pile on the pressure when he has his opponent wobbled. Man, this exhibition is a sad state of affairs. Just writing this makes me sick. Hopefully, this is an exhibition fix in which Holyfield can get a light workout.

Predicted Result: Belfort Decision

Eight rounds is a lot of time for either man to keep up a respectable pace, yet hopefully, the exhibition nature of the fight indicates this could be a ‘light spar’ or even a fix. As I’m sure all are aware, Evander Holyfield has looked dreadful in the build-up to this fight. Speculation over financial issues suggests Holyfield’s motivations in returning to the ring are more than just a burning passion for the sport. There is no denying that Evander is in incredible visible shape for a man of his age, but he looks weak hitting the pads these days. The hips don’t snap with ease, the combinations are strained and there is no real knowing just how well his chin will hold up anymore.

Based on freshness and considerably less brain trauma, Belfort should be considered a heavy favourite in this match-up. A hard-hitting Southpaw, Belfort is more than happy to pile on the pressure when he has his opponent wobbled. There isn’t much reason to talk about the Great Holyfield of the past. The seamless positioning, bouncing footwork and liquid combinations won’t be there to see on Saturday night, so what is the point? Please just let this be a fix.

Result: Belfort def. Holyfield // TKO (punches) Round 1 1:49

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

People mocked Ben Askren’s pad work, 58-year-old Holyfield’s isn’t much better | Holyfield vs Belfort

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Holyfield vs Belfort: Co-Main Event

Anderson Silva (2-1, 1KO) vs Tito Ortiz (DEBUT)

Cruiserweight (200)

Anderson Silva

If you don’t know Anderson Silva by now, go and watch a highlight reel on YouTube. It doesn’t matter if you’re solely a boxing fanatic, the Spider transcends combat sports divisions with his insane skillset. With a recent victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Anderson Silva is a far easier fighter to gauge. Sure, Chavez Jr is a continual disappointment, but he is also a former world champion with tons of experience against top boxers. Silva didn’t offer much volume (as was the case during his MMA career) but his efficient shot selection and timing transferred over to the squared circle. The issue for most fighters against Silva is their inability to tie him down. At range, Silva’s reach advantage wins the jabbing war. When Silva finds himself in the pocket, he effortlessly pushes an opponent’s head down or ties their hands as he slides out the back door. What a majestic fighter.

Tito Ortiz

Former Huntington Beach City Councilman, Tito Ortiz, was a legend throughout his MMA career. On the one hand, Tito Ortiz was the original MMA bad boy and secured huge results over Wanderlei Silva, Ken Shamrock, Vitor Belfort and Forrest Griffin. On the other, Tito is most notorious for his verbal diarrhoea and his roasting at the hands of Chael Sonnen. The bread and butter of Tito’s career has always been his wrestling. A dominating top game paved the way for brutal flurries of ground and pound before an eventual submission opened up. The power remains in Tito’s hands, but finishing Chuck Liddell these days is NOT an achievement. It looked like the Ice Man was fighting under the water, buoyed by a chin made of Rice Krispies. Awkward footwork, no head movement and telegraphed shots will all see Tito struggle to find any significant offence. His ability to create an ugly fight and clinch up Silva is a possibility, especially with his extra size after missing weight, but it’s unlikely.

Predicted Result: Silva TKO Round 4

With a recent victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Anderson Silva is a far easier fighter to gauge. Silva didn’t offer much volume (as was the case during his MMA career) but his efficient shot selection and timing transferred over to the squared circle. At range, Silva’s reach advantage wins the jabbing war. When Silva finds himself in the pocket, he effortlessly pushes an opponent’s head down or ties their hands as he slides out the back door. The bread and butter of Tito’s career has always been his wrestling. The power remains in Tito’s hands, but finishing Chuck Liddell these days is NOT an achievement. Awkward footwork, no head movement and telegraphed shots will all see Tito struggle to find any significant offence. His ability to create an ugly fight and clinch up Silva is a possibility, especially with his extra size after missing weight, but it’s unlikely.

Result: Silva def. Ortiz // TKO (punches) Round 1 1:21

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌

As if Chavez Jr couldn't fail his father anymore, Cesar failed to prepare properly and allowed a forty-six year old Anderson Silva to beat him cleanly over eight rounds | Holyfield vs Belfort
As if Chavez Jr couldn’t fail his father anymore, Cesar failed to prepare properly and allowed a forty-six year old Anderson Silva to beat him cleanly over eight rounds | Holyfield vs Belfort

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Holyfield vs Belfort: Rest of the Card

David Haye (28-4, 26KO) vs Joe Fournier (9-0, 9KO)

Heavyweight (200+)

David Haye

Two rich friends decide to have a light spar to pad their bank balance for a few million. Haha, what’s not to love about the LADS LADS LADS? Except the fact, that perhaps, no one follows the Hayemaker anymore? A decade has passed since the Cruiserweight legend was the talk of the town. After a sad demise to Bellew twice, both times his body failing him against the gobby scouser, Haye has struggled to keep relevant with Hayemaker promotions. If Haye manages to get a Bellew trilogy off the back of this, I will do a proper analysis. Until then, I will treat this like the sham it is.

Joe Fournier

A private schoolboy from extreme wealth, it is a bit of a stretch to call Fournier a successful businessman. His Wikipedia reads like a paid article, showering Fournier with praise as he shrewdly built up a PT and nightclub empire. In reality, Fournier’s considerable initial wealth ensured that he could do whatever he wanted without repercussion. An absolute joke of a record, Fournier has spent most of his ‘career’ fighting in the Dominican Republic against total tin cans. His only half-decent fight, against Mustapha Stini (11-41-1), was overturned following a positive test for Sibutramine (weight loss). He looked gassed in the two rounds it took to take out Reykon, this isn’t a proper fight.

Predicted Result: Haye TKO Round 2

Thankfully, this bout between two rich friends has been reverted from a professional bout to an exhibition. After a sad demise to Bellew twice, both times his body failing him against the gobby scouser, Haye has struggled to keep relevant with Hayemaker promotions. Fournier has an absolute joke of a record, spending most of his ‘career’ fighting in the Dominican Republic against total tin cans. Worse yet, Fournier looked gassed in the two rounds it took to take out Reykon. This isn’t a proper fight.

Result: Haye def. Fournier // Decision (unanimous – 79-72, 79-72, 80-72)

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Andy Vences (23-2-1, 12KO) vs Jono Carroll (19-2-1, 5KO)

Super Featherweight (130)

Andy Vences

The only real boxing fight on the card! Andy Vences is a decent little fighter, despite a couple of career bumps over the past few years. With a background of over 80 amateur fights, Vences tore his way to a 20-0 record before meeting Erick De Leon. Using his length to keep De Leon on the outside of his jab, Vences dropped rounds based on a desire to find the ‘perfect shot’. While the most recent split decision loss to Luis Alberto Lopez looks poor on paper, Vences can feel hard done by not to have been given the nod on the night. Volume remains an issue, but Vences is a deadly accurate counter puncher with a spiteful pop to his shots.

Jono Carroll

I like Jono Carroll, but his limitations are clear as day. The twenty-nine-year-old has neither the skill nor the frame to change his style from anything other than a front-foot, head down, break an opponent under pressure approach. Beating Scott Quigg was an excellent scalp to secure, but Quiggy was far past his best and fighting out of his natural weight class. Against a superior technician in Maxi Hughes last time out, Carroll regularly missed the mark as a result of his short reach and telegraphed footwork. Hughes throws more shots than Vences, however, and Carroll has a real shot at dragging the American into an early dog fight that could heavily impact the second half of the affair.

Predicted Result: Vences Decision

Andy Vences is a decent little fighter, despite a couple of career bumps over the past few years. While the most recent split decision loss to Luis Alberto Lopez looks poor on paper, Vences can feel hard done by not to have been given the nod on the night. Volume remains an issue, but Vences is a deadly accurate counter puncher with a spiteful pop to his shots. Carroll is a limited but entertaining fighter to keep an eye on. Against a superior technician in Maxi Hughes last time out, Carroll regularly missed the mark as a result of his short reach and telegraphed footwork. Vences lack of volume may prove an issue, offering Carroll early opportunities to drag American into a dog fight that could heavily impact the second half of the affair.

Result: Carroll def. Vences // Decision (majority – 95-95, 97-93, 97-93)

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Prediction Accuracy

Holyfield vs Belfort

Winner: 3/4

Method: 2/4

Round: 1/4

2021 Boxing Season

Winner: 80/94

Method: 51/94

Round: 34/94

Boxing Overall

Winner: 140/168

Method: 97/168

Round: 73/168

Takeaway comments: Gotta love this sport and the growing list of vultures.


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