Former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort made a very controversial debut in the exhibition boxing realm recently, when he trounced the 58-year-old former boxing great Evander Holyfield in under two minutes.
The mismatch made for uncomfortable viewing, and Belfort's initial opponent Oscar De La Hoya would have likely provided at least a little more of a fight, had 'The Golden Boy' not contracted COVID-19.
However Belfort's trainer Derik Santos told Betway this week that while the Brazilian has his eyes on a puglistic return in early 2022, it probably won't be a De La Hoya reschedule and it definitely won't be against former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye, who competed on the undercard of the Triller Holyfield farce against Joe Fournier.
“David Haye is a tool," Santos bluntly said, in response to Haye's criticism of Belfort vs. Holyfield. "He has nothing to talk about. He’s disappointed British fans on more than one occasion.
"He went 12 rounds and did nothing with a supposed broken toe, not throwing any other punch but a flinging jab against Klitschko. He fleeced everybody with Klitschko. And then had the nerve to come out here with Fournier, walk around with his buddy and get paid for that, and then call out Tyson Fury. He's a tool.
"Nobody over here cares about David Haye at all. They all think he's a tool. Most people here can't stand him. He has no idea what he's talking about.
"He has no idea how hard Vitor Belfort trained to get back. He’s irrelevant. His fight with Fournier was a total farce of a fight. For that reason I'd want nothing to do with anything that puts a ton of money in David Haye’s pocket. I rule him out for Vitor’s next fight. He’s irrelevant, nobody cares about him here, there’s no interest in that at all.”
Santos doesn't foresee the 44-year-old Belfort's dabble with boxing lasting very long, either.
He said: “It’s likely Vitor will return in the first quarter of next year. I see Vitor being busy for another year then he’ll probably re-evaluate. I think after a year he’ll move onto new chapters of his life.”
And though Belfort vs. De La Hoya was signed at one stage, Santos does not believe it will be back on the table.
“No, we have not heard from Oscar De La Hoya," he revealed. "I don’t think we’ll see Oscar back in the ring.
"We know he had a problem with Vitor’s rehydration clause. I really think there were some issues there and the writing was on the wall in terms of that fight falling through. I don’t think Oscar was ever training like he said he was training."