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Rules for Evander Holyfield vs. Vitor Belfort 8-round bout

We break down the rules, and what is really going on, between Evander Holyfield and Vitor Belfort this Sunday.

Former boxing champion Evander Holyfield attends the Canelo Alvarez (not pictured) and Daniel Jacobs (not pictured) WBC/WBA/IBF middleweight unification world championship boxing bout at T-Mobile Arena. Alvarez won via unanimous decision Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

After multiple opponent changes, a location change, and a lot of confusion, we finally have a definitive answer about what exactly is happening between Vitor Belfort and Evander Holyfield on Sunday night.

The bout only came together earlier this month when original opponent Oscar De La Hoya contracted COVID and was forced off the card. Holyfield stepped up to take his place, but the contest was first denied by the California State Athletic Commission, who refused to license Holyfield for a professional boxing bout. After a shuffle to Florida, the bout was a go.

The 58 year old Holyfield, who hasn’t competed in over a decade, will be having an official boxing match against 44 year old Belfort, who is competing for the first time since 2018.

Not only are knockouts legal, but should this bout go the full 8 round distance, a winner will be declared based on the judges’ scorecards — unlike what we saw in the exhibition bout between Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul earlier this year.

Per the Florida Athletic Commission:

“The Florida Athletic Commission has approved the Evander Holyfield vs. Vitor Belfort bout as a fully regulated professional boxing match. It will be conducted under the Unified Rules of Boxing and scored by three judges on the 10-point must system.

“All boxers on this card have successfully met all requirements to be licensed by the Florida Athletic Commission.”