Evander Holyfield and Vitor Belfort face off at their final press conference
Follow all the action as Evander Holyfield returns to the ring at 58 years old in a heavyweight exhibition bout against former UFC champion Vitor Belfort.
‘The Real Deal’, one of boxing’s all-time greats, retired a decade ago but has been lured back through the ropes as a late replacement for Oscar De La Hoya. Many have questioned whether the fight should be allowed to go ahead, with the California State Athletic Commission refusing to sanction the bout, however, a late change of venue to Florida means it will proceed regardless of those concerns. Adding further to the bizarre spectacle, Donald Trump will provide commentary on the broadcast.
Belfort, who amassed a 26-14 record in a decorated MMA career, has promised to savour the occasion. “Minute by minute, second by second. Just focus on what I control, that’s all I do. Be able to enjoy every moment,” he said. “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.” Follow all the action live below:
Silva’s victory takes just 81 seconds
There were just 81 seconds between the first bell ringing and Anderson Silva landing a right hook through Tito Ortiz’s gaping defence.
Silva knocks out Ortiz in first round!
Silva knocks out Ortiz in the very first round! The Brazilian did his own best impression of a rope-a-dope, allowing Ortiz to unload punches, before spinning away and landing a huge counter hook. Ortiz is knocked to the canvas and cannot beat the count.
Silva and Ortiz make way to ring
The atmosphere picks up as these two icons make their way to the ring, even though this bout may not quite live up to their expectations.
Silva faces Ortiz next
Next up, MMA legends Anderson Silva and Tito Ortiz cross divides to compete against one another in a boxing match. The pair are both 46 years old, but Silva will be a clear favourite after his respectable victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in June.
Carroll says he couldn’t see for several rounds
In his post-fight interview, Carroll revealed that he couldn’t see out of one of his eyes for a large portion of the fight, which explains why the doctor took such a long look ahead of the ninth round. That was what provoked him into putting everything on the line in the final two rounds, though, and it was those that ultimately separated him from Vences on the scorecards.
Carroll wins via majority decision
There’s some surprise at ringside, but Carroll gets a majority decision. The scorecards read: 97-93, 97-93, 95-95.
Final bell rings
It’s a tight final round as Carroll is the clear aggressor but Vences counters well off the back foot. It’s a difficult round to call, as many have been, and we head to the judges’ scorecards.
Carroll dominates the ninth
The doctor takes a long look at Carroll in the corner, although there’s no serious cut visible. It seems to give Carroll the sense of urgency he desperately needs, and he dominates the entirety of the ninth round, landing combinations to the head and body almost at will.
Vences takes charge in the eighth
Carroll is coming forwards in the eighth round and finding success, but then Vences unloads with a straight right hand that lands through the guard. It’s an eye-catching shot and gives the American encouragement, and he follows it up with a nice combination. It’s a clear round for Vences and you sense Carroll needs something special in the closing stages now.
Carroll attempts to pick up the pace
Perhaps sensing he may be behind, Carroll attempts to pick up the pace. It’s better output from the Irishman but he’s still struggling to land with anything meaningful and Vences gets the biggest cheer of the round with a nice combination.
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