LOS ANGELES: Triller Fight Club (TFC) took another major step in its growing sports and entertainment business today when it added one of the world’s most respected and accomplished athletes, Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, to its lineup of elite fighters, legends, rising stars and leading entertainment personalities. Holyfield, the only person ever to win the world heavyweight title four times, will return to the ring to fight Kevin McBride in a six-round bout in Florida on Saturday, June 5. He will join a card that already has the title fight between Teófimo López and George Kambosos Jr. The veteran McBride (35-10-1) is best known for ending the career of Mike Tyson in June of 2005 when Tyson retired in the sixth round in Washington, D.C. Triller Fight Club is a partnership between Triller and Snoop Dogg and is spearheaded by Ryan Kavanaugh. All professional fight rules will apply.
The location and times for Triller Fight Club on June 5 will be announced officially in the coming days.
“Our continued reinvention of boxing as four-quadrant entertainment now adds one of the biggest names in the history of boxing, Evander Holyfield, against one of the best opponents, Kevin McBride,” Kavanaugh said. “He joins a lineup featuring some of the most elite fighters who are on their way up the ranks and world-class musical entertainment as we present a multifaceted experience for fans of every interest in four action-packed and exciting pay per view hours.”
“I am proud to be able to join Triller Fight Club as they are exactly what our industry needed. They have reimagined the sport of boxing in a very exciting new way,” Holyfield said. “Their combination of young talent, music, entertainment and special matchups is setting a new standard for our sport, and my return to the ring for this fight is one that everyone, myself included, will enjoy, and I am proud to help take this to the next level.”
Holyfield is the only professional fighter to win the heavyweight championship four separate times, surpassing the record of Muhammad Ali, who won it three times. After a standout amateur and Olympic boxing career, Holyfield turned professional, and in 1986 he won the junior heavyweight title by upsetting World Boxing Association (WBA) champion Dwight Muhammad Qawi in a 15-round split decision. In April 1988, with an eighth-round knockout of Carlos DeLeon, Holyfield became boxing’s first undisputed cruiserweight champion. Three months later he fought his first heavyweight bout, knocking out James Tillis in five rounds. On October 25, 1990, he scored a third-round knockout of James (“Buster”) Douglas to win the undisputed heavyweight title of the WBA, the World Boxing Council (WBC), and the International Boxing Federation (IBF). After successful defenses against former champions George Foreman and Larry Holmes, Holyfield lost the title on November 13, 1992, dropping a 12-round decision to Riddick Bowe. In a rematch with Bowe one year later, he recaptured the WBA and IBF titles in another decision. Holyfield met heavyweight champion Mike Tyson in a much-anticipated WBA bout on November 9, 1996, scoring a TKO in the 11th round, becoming the heavyweight champion for a third time. Holyfield regained the IBF title by knocking out Michael Moorer in the eighth round of their November 8, 1997 rematch. He retired in 2014 with a career record of 44 wins (29 by knockout), 10 losses, and 2 draws. Holyfield was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2017.
Fight Club has created and named this match the Legends Title Fight and will be delivering the winner the Triller Fight Club Legends Champion Gold Belt, the first of Fight Club’s championship belts.
López, 23, is the current unified lightweight world champion, having held the IBF title since 2019 and the WBA (Super), WBO and Ring magazine titles since defeating Vasyl Lomachenko in 2020. López is ranked as the world’s fifth best active boxer, pound for pound, by ESPN and Boxing Writers Association of America, and sixth by The Ring. He is also ranked as the world’s best active lightweight by BoxRec, ESPN and the TBRB.
The Australian Kambosos has held the IBF Pan Pacific lightweight title since 2017. He previously held the Australian NSW, Australian, WBA-PABA, and WBA Oceania lightweight titles between 2013 and 2017. Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs) became the IBF mandatory challenger after defeating Lee Selby by split decision in October.
In the headline matchup of Triller Fight Club’s first event of 2021 on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Jake Paul takes on former Bellator and ONE FC champion Ben Askren, while Regis Prograis (New Orleans), a former world champion and arguably one of the top two super lightweights in the world, battles Ivan Redkach (Shostka, Ukraine); heavyweight MMA Bad Boy Frank Mir (Las Vegas) opposes Steve Cunningham (Philadelphia); and Joe Fournier (London) challenges music icon and worldwide star Reykon (Envigado, Colombia). Several undefeated boxers put their records on the line Saturday: welterweight Quinton Randall (Houston, 7-0), super middleweight Junior Younan (Brooklyn, N.Y., 15-0-1) and middleweight Lorenzo “Truck” Simpson (Baltimore, Md., 9-0). Simpson will meet Francisco Torres (Buenos Aires, 16-3-1), while Younan will take on Jeyson Minda (Quito, Ecuador/Salem, Mass., 14-4-1) and Randall will battle Cincinnati veteran William Jackson (13-2-2, 2 KOs).
The lineup for Saturday’s four-hour Pay Per View show will include performances by Justin Bieber, The Black Keys, Doja Cat, Saweetie, Diplo, Major Lazer, and the exclusive world premiere of the hip hop supergroup Mt. Westmore (Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Too $hort and E-40) performing for their first time ever together. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Bert Marcus will lead and direct the creative storytelling for the Triller Fight Club event.
In addition to being a co-owner, Snoop also provides strategic counsel to Triller Fight Club, helping to select fighters and musical acts for the show-stopping events. An entertainment expert who has successfully maneuvered through a range of projects in a variety of different fields, Snoop secured his spot as a fan favorite during Triller’s first sporting event, Tyson vs. Jones.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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