Holyfield vs Belfort odds: What can we expect

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Following his COVID-19 diagnosis, fight legend Oscar De La Hoya, 48, has been forced to pull out of his September 11th boxing match with UFC legend Vitor Belfort, 44. As a result, Evander Holyfield, 58, will take his place.

Heading into De La Hoya vs Belfort, oddsmakers slightly favored the mixed martial artist even though he's boxed professionally just once. Most bookies tagged Belfort as roughly a -140 favorite while De La Hoya sat around +100.

It's obvious why many gave Belfort a chance:

1. 180 lb catchweight - Oscar would have fought about 35-40 lbs above his prime fighting weight, seemingly sacrificing speed and agility. The catchweight was much closer to Belfort's natural fighting weight.

2. Activity - De La Hoya hadn't fought in nearly 13 years while Belfort had competed as a mixed martial artist annually and at the highest level until his last fight in May 2018. 

So, what can we expect for Holyfield vs Belfort?

Holyfield vs Belfort odds:  Our prediction

The Holyfield vs Belfort odds haven't been released yet but we believe Evander will be an even bigger underdog than Oscar.


1. Although he's in fine shape and has been training some, Holyfield has taken the fight on a week's notice. His body will look good but will Evander be in "fighting" shape. We know Belfort will be. Let's not forget, he was initially slated to face Oscar in July so he's had a lot of time to prepare.

2. At 58, Holyfield is 10 years older than De La Hoya and 14 years Belfort's senior.

Being 13 months shy of 60 won't help Evander's cause.

3. Like De La Hoya, Evander has been inactive for quite some time. In fact, he hasn't fought professionally since May 2011. As previously indicated, Belfort was fairly active during the previous decade, fighting 13 times since Evander last stepped into the ring.

How much sparring will Holyfield have done? How's his timing?

There's not a lot of improvement a fighter can make in a week and, again, sporting a six-pack has little to do with being in "fighting" shape.

4. Holyfield is bigger than De La Hoya but will likely be slower and less fleet-of-foot as well, and presumably an easier target to find in the ring.

5. For all it's worth, Belfort is a southpaw. As we know, lefties do everything backwards in comparison to fighters who employ a conventional stance. We know of four times when Evander has faced southpaws and he's 1-3 in that instance. He's lost to lefties Michael Moorer, Chris Byrd, and Sultan Ibragimov, with his lone win coming against Moorer in their rematch.

6. Unlike former mixed martial artist Ben Askren, who was KO'd in less than one round by a novice boxer a few months ago, Belfort is known as an excellent striker and, with one pro boxing fight under his belt, isn't coming into the sport raw. Moreover, Belfort is tied for third for the most stoppages in UFC history, 14. 

Holyfield vs Belfort odds... We expect Vitor to be a 2 1/2 to 1 favorite. Hence, if we are accurate, a winning $100 wager of Belfort would yield a $40 net while the same successful wager on The Real Deal would net $250.

Again, the above betting line is just our prediction and isn't from a professional bookie.

Evander will enter with a massive edge in raw experience - Will it be enough to fend off Belfort?

Holyfield is an all-time great and we'd like his chances to win had he been given adequate time to prepare and were south of 55.

N.B: Will Holyfield v Belfort even be sanctioned as a professional match? If it'll be an exhibition, odds are moot. Most boxing exhibitions aren't scored or are declared a draw. Secondly, exhibitions are little more than glorified sparring sessions where fighters don't try to knock each other out.

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