Evander Holyfield has been advised to quit boxing by Vitor Belfort’s coach Derik Santos – even though The Real Deal thought ‘it was a bad call’ despite being dropped on his backside by the Brazilian.
The 58-year-old former five-time world champion lost out against former UFC and Cage Rage light heavyweight champion Belfort in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Holyfield was stopped in the first round of his comeback fight – his first defeat since December 2008 – and Santos insists he should hang the gloves up for good.
“No, I don’t think [he should continue fighting],” Santos told MMA Junkie.
“Hopefully he made a lot of money tonight. I have a lot of respect for Holyfield.
“He was great, he’s still great and will continue to be great in the world of boxing.”
Boxing Hall of Famer Holyfield struggled to cope with the speed and power of the younger Belfort, who dropped him twice in the opening stanza and then kept up the pressure to force the referee to call a stop to the contest.
“The plan was to box a bit more and show it throughout the rounds,” Santos added.
“But I understand that when a fighter is in there, they can have a plan, but when they connect, they get excited.
“I’m sure he felt something that told him that he shouldn’t wait and he should put out the fire now.
“I wanted him to box more so he can show the public that he can box and that he’s technical.
“But hey, you can’t complain a whole lot – a victory is a victory.
“Sometimes you win by one point. Sometimes you connect with a lucky haymaker and you were losing the fight.
“So you can’t complain, you just have to thank God. I respect Holyfield a lot and I hope he’s in good health and all the best to his team.”
If Holyfield does decide to call it a day, he will be fondly remembered for being the first fighter to unify the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions in the 1990’s, beating fighters such as Riddick Bowe, Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson, before losing his titles to Lennox Lewis.
However, it seems he has no intention of doing so, despite multiple pleas from the wider boxing community.
“I thought it was a bad call,” Holyfield said in his post-fight interview.
“I don’t think the referee should have stopped the fight that quick.”