Evander Holyfield is not only making a comeback in the boxing ring this weekend, but he’s doing it on just over a week’s notice.
The Real Deal is stepping in for the COVID-stricken Oscar De La Hoya and he will face former UFC star Vitor Belfort.
Holyfield is 59 next month. The American is the only boxer in history to reign as undisputed champion in two weight classes as he did at cruiserweight and heavyweight.
With a professional record of 44-10-2, he will face the 1-0 Belfort who at 44 is nearly 15 years his junior.
Although he retired in 2011, Holyfield has been planning to come out of retirement earlier this year to take on Kevin McBride, who beat Mike Tyson.
That fight fell through, but Holyfield has kept himself in good shape awaiting his next chance.
Through his diet and training – which includes with his sons, Evan and Evander Holyfield Jr (he has another son, Elijah Holyfield, who plays in the NFL) – Holyfield remains in magnificent condition.
Throughout his career, he has enjoyed a meat-heavy diet. Protein was the name of the game for the former Olympian and while training to move up from cruiserweight to heavyweight, he had five meals a day packed full of meat.
Four eggs in the morning before and after training, then he’d have macaroni and cheese with chopped steak at lunch before having fish at dinner time and, finally, peanut butter and grape jelly on wheat bread.
Later meals all tended to be accompanied by a variety of vegetables, including black-eyed peas, string beans and cabbage.
“I eat to live; some people get caught up in the decoration,” Holyfield explained.
Ahead of his boxing comeback earlier this year, he said: “I’m looking forward to stepping up my training sessions and intensity as I prepare for my fight.”
The Real Deal showed the work he was putting in on his Instagram.
In the first video, the 58-year-old shows off his weight training, bench pressing 180 pounds.
Then he and his trainer take to the beach to work on speed, strength and resistance; first they demonstrate a series of fast footwork drills, then Holyfield shadowboxes with chains weighing his fists down.
He then practices cardio by running while pulling a parachute, and does pushup reps and he does all of this while wearing a weighted vest. He’s at a lean 220lbs right now.
For a man in his prime this would be hard work, let alone a man heading towards his 60s.