Marc Ratner is not liking some of the things he’s seeing in the boxing world.
The UFC’s vice president of regulatory affairs and former executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission is in disapproval of the recent sanctioning done by the Florida State Boxing Commission of 58-year-old Evander Holyfield’s return to boxing against Vitor Belfort.
Holyfield, a former boxing heavyweight, lost via first-round TKO against Belfort, who’s 14 years younger, on Sept. 11 in Hollywood, Fla. It was his first fight in 10 years and many were concerned given his questionable pad work and speech leading up to the Triller pay-per-view event.
Ratner is all for fighters continuing to make income past their prime, but there’s a line that needs to be respected.
“What I am for is for the fighters to make money, (but) I don’t like the idea of Evander fighting at 59,” Ratner told MMA Junkie Radio. “I think about Bernard Hopkins who fought until he was 51 or 52 and never lost a step, but there’s very few who can do that.
“You can play football or baseball, but when you’re playing boxing or fighting, it’s a different world. I was really happy that the California commission turned it down. I’m not sure if the Florida commission should’ve approved it. I think that in the same scenario, if I were executive director, we would’ve not approved Evander to fight here (in Nevada). It’s just too dangerous.”
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Ratner said there’s a procedure that needs to be met when sanctioning a fighter to compete. It goes beyond the medicals and even the skills shown on the heavy bag or the pads. Ratner said it’s important to see how the fighter does in sparring before giving them the green light to compete.
Ratner doesn’t think Holyfield should’ve been in the ring that night against Belfort and doesn’t want to see him step in the ring again in the future.
“I didn’t watch it that night, but I watched the replay and it was sad because it didn’t look like he got hit solid, but his legs were gone and he had no balance,” Ratner said. “I don’t want to see that. I admire Evander and he’s one of my favorite boxers and I just don’t want to see him get hurt.”
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