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Holyfield vs McBride odds: Why Evander is a big underdog

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Apparently, what was initially an exhibition between fight legend Evander Holyfield, 58, and Kevin McBride, 47, is now a legitimate eight round prizefight with two-minute stanzas.

It’s a move that’ll likely give the card, headlined by Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr., added buzz in the mainstream.

Should Holyfield vs McBride engage in a real prizefight, who’s your pick?

Holyfield vs McBride odds

Per Betting Inside Journal, the great Holyfield is a 2/1 underdog while McBride is the healthy favorite at 1/3. Hence, a successful $100 bet on Evander would net $200 (or return $300). Conversely, the same bet on McBride would generate a net of $33.33 (or return $133).

What gives?

Holyfield was the better fighter and is far more accomplished. Moreover, both men have been inactive since 2011 and in their previous bouts Holyfield scored a 10th Round TKO over Brian Nielsen while McBride was KO'd in 4 by Mariusz Wach.

370px Holyfield nielsen 4055221 bt

Also, Evander’s last six opponents were better than McBride’s, and Evander was 3-2-0-1NC during that stint while McBride was 1-5. (In truth, Holyfield was 4-1-0-1NC because he was quite literally robbed against Nikolai Valuev in December 2008)

Holyfield’s last 6 fights (3-2-0-1NC)

  • Win TKO 10 Brian Nielsen 7-May-11
  • NC 3 Sherman Williams 22-Jan-11
  • Win TKO 8 Francois Botha
  • Loss MD 12 Nikolai Valuev 20-Dec-08
  • Loss UD 12 Sultan Ibragimov 13-Oct-07
  • Win UD 10 Lou Savarese 30-Jun-07


Holyfield vs McBride
8 rounds, 2 minutes
June 5, 2021
Triller PPV

McBride’s last 6 fights (1-5)

  • Loss Mariusz Wach KO 4 29-Jul-11
  • Loss Tomasz Adamek UD 12 9-Apr-11
  • Loss Matt Skelton UD 3 9-Oct-10
  • Win Franklin Egobi SD 3 9-Oct-10
  • Loss Zack Page UD 8 10-Jul-10
  • Loss Andrew Golota TKO 6 6-Oct-07

So why is McBride the presumed early, healthy favorite, again?


Eleven years doesn’t mean a lot in a fight between a 22- and 33-year-old. And at heavyweight, a 27-year-old might not have a massive edge in youth against a 38 year old. But, 47 vs 58 might be a different story.

We’ve seen fighters compete at 47, McBride’s age, but it's super rare to see a fella 1 ½ years shy of 60 compete in a professional boxing match. Granted, Holyfield is in awesome shape, there’s no doubt about that. But bettors believe the younger McBride will be in better “fighting” shape.

maxresdefault 2

Although Holyfield would clearly look better on the beach, McBride, in addition to being 11 years younger, will also have advantages in height, reach, weight and, possibly, strength.

Secondly, and the betting lines are probably not taking this into account (but should be), is Holyfield’s ‘Rockyesque’ fighting style over the years. Like Rocky Balboa in the movies, Holyfield often took a lot of punishment in fights before dishing it out.

holyfield rocky
Remember Holyfield vs Qawi? How about Holyfield vs Dokes, Stewart (I), Foreman, Cooper, Bowe (1 and 2), Moorer (2) and Tyson (1).

Maybe it was by design and maybe it wasn't. However, at 58, Evander probably won’t be given the benefit of the doubt by the referee when getting whacked around the ring. Once the latter senses Evander is in trouble, he’ll probably stop the fight. Look at what happened to Ben Askren against Jake Paul last week.

Also, in Kevin McBride, Evander won't be facing a previous or curremt MMA pro - He'll be fighting a comebacking boxer who boasts 29 knockouts in 35 wins.

And McBride seems focused - overly focused - for this fight and insists he’ll be in shape.

"This fight [with Holyfield] I will prove to everyone, all the doubters, that I’m still a legitimate fighter. Yes, I’ve been knocked out a couple of times and I’ve lost fights. But it’s hard to get up for a fight after you’ve just beaten Mike Tyson," Kevin told Boxing News.

"He’s still a very dangerous man, even at age 58. He’s in great shape. I’ve been working for a guy, cutting down trees every single day. Let me tell you, that keeps you in shape… I will be in great shape for this fight."

Please share your thoughts on the early Holyfield vs McBride odds.


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