Florida to License Evander Holyfield vs. Vitor Belfort; Jim Lampley Leaves Broadcast

By Jay Pettry Sep 9, 2021

Although Florida ultimately said yes to Evander Holyfield vs. Vitor Belfort, renowned commentator Jim Lampley said no.

The boxing match between Holyfield (44-10-2, 1 NC, 29 KOs Box) and Belfort (26-14, 1 NC; 1-0 Box) was relocated from Los Angeles to Florida on short notice when the California State Athletic Commission refused to license Holyfield for combat at the age of 58. On Wednesday night, ESPN was the first to break the news that the Florida Athletic Commission had cleared both Holyfield and Belfort for professional competition. The two, who combine for 102 years of age, will compete in an eight-round pro boxing match, which will take place under the Unified Rules of Boxing with two-minute rounds.

Triller announced earlier in the week that the company would be providing an alternate commentary stream, other than the standard option previously helmed by Lampley. Former president Donald Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., will be calling some or all of the action on a separate broadcast. Since news of this was made public, veteran broadcaster Lampley has bowed out of his play-by-play role on the Saturday broadcast. The organization has not announced who will take his place.

Other than a few charity exhibition matches over the years including one with Mitt Romney, this bout with Belfort will be the first time Holyfield has stepped in the ring in over a decade. As it is a pro bout, knockouts and all standard boxing rules will apply. Holyfield claimed at the final press conference on Thursday that he had been training to return to competition for years, so stepping up on short notice was not a problem as he had already been preparing to fight someone.

Belfort originally expected that he would meet Oscar De La Hoya in a 185-pound bout, but the latter contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized for it. Instead, “The Phenom” will enter as a heavyweight against one of the most famous boxers to set foot in a ring. Belfort is 1-0 as a pro boxer, with that lone win coming by knockout over fellow neophyte Josemario Neves in 2006.

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