Hardcore boxing fans were reduced to shaking their heads this weekend when 58-year-old Evander Holyfield stepped inside the ring to get dismantled in one round by former UFC light heavyweight world champion Vitor Belfort.
YouTubers, over-the-hill legends, and MMA fighters dipping their toes in boxing have been the trend as of late. Though boxing purists are against the idea, veteran boxing analyst Ed Tolentino said that such events are a byproduct of professional boxing itself.
"Pro boxing became a circus because we see all these YouTubers (Jake and Logan Paul) and crossover stars. What hurts is that retired boxing legends also got involved because of the allure of money. This is a circus that pro boxing created," Tolentino said in Filipino.
"Why? The best world champions would not fight each other and would rather take easy fights for money. Who would want to watch a champion beat up a journeyman? People would rather watch a YouTuber knowing that he cannot box but they do not know what will happen. There is a novelty," he added.
Tolentino said that YouTubers and promotional outfit Triller make money out of boxing because they know how to promote themselves whereas most boxing champions lack showmanship to draw an audience.
And while such novelty fights are bombarded with criticism, Tolentino said they are here to stay until boxing and its boxers step up to clean their act.
"Real boxers should feel threatened because these guys can wipe them out," he said.
"Their shenanigans of asking for a huge fee then perform bad come the actual fight makes it all about money. They should feel threatened because that is the only way for these boxers to have a wake up call. Truth is boxers need a makeover."
—MGP, GMA News