Hatton has demanded that the authorities who sanctioned the professional bout are investigated, after Holyfield was stopped in devastating fashion by Belfort in Florida
Ricky Hatton has demanded an investigation after Evander Holyfield’s devastating defeat to Vitor Belfort.
Holyfield was defeated in explosive fashion on the night, stumbling through the ropes before the bout was stopped with less than two minutes gone.
And another boxing legend Hatton, has questioned how Holyfield was allowed to compete at the age of 58, and with a week’s notice.
“I wasn’t very happy to see Evander Holyfield get knocked out in the first round at the weekend, not at all,” said Hatton in his Metro column. “The board of control in Florida needs investigating for allowing that to happen.
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“I’m all for exhibitions. I’ve said I’m open to one myself, two former champions showcasing their skills one last time for the fans with the understanding that no one will get seriously hurt.
“But this was very different. It was a 58-year-old Holyfield, coming in on a week’s notice to replace Oscar De La Hoya at the very last minute.
“I wrote something on Instagram this week saying the people who allowed this Holyfield fight to happen should hang their heads in shame.”
Holyfield was keen on signing with Triller, in order to pursue a trilogy bout with heavyweight rival Mike Tyson.
But his former foe walked away from the label after his successful exhibition clash with Roy Jones Jr last year.
And Hatton believes that a fight between the pair would have been fine, but has called for the bodies to ensure stipulations are made to protect the fighters health.
“We have to move with the times. I understand that. Floyd Mayweather fought Conor McGregor, then he fought [a YouTuber]. Mike Tyson fought Roy Jones,” Hatton continued.
“We can get away with that. Tyson and Jones was an exhibition, both were well prepared, and the conditions were right.
“Floyd and [YouTuber] probably had some sort of understanding of what was actually going to go on in there.
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“But Holyfield got put in a very bad situation by his people. Exhibitions are fine, as long as there are boundaries to protect and maintain the boxer’s health.
“This is a social media world. We have to move with the times. But I don’t care if you’re a boxing purist or a fan of YouTubers. If you find that entertaining, then you want to have a look in the mirror.”
It now looks unlikely that Holyfield will be allowed to compete in the near future, after being handed a 30-day medical suspension after his damaging defeat.
And the American heavyweight was joined on the card by David Haye who made his comeback with victory over Joe Fournier.
He had previously admitted he would love to share the ring with Holyfield, but also called out Tyson Fury after his respective bout.
Haye also criticised Holyfield’s opponent Belfort for his celebration after the victory, with the Brazilian making a point of calling out YouTube star Jake Paul.