This weekend’s circus
fight exhibition (?) is between 58-year-old heavyweight legend Evander Holyfield and 44-year-old former UFC champ Vitor Belfort. The co-main, which is definitely (probably?) under pro boxing rules, sees UFC Great Anderson Silva take on felow ex-champ, and former Huntington Beach mayor pro tem, Tito Ortiz.
Just to make this card even weirder, promoter Triller is offering an alternative feed of the event which features commentary by former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Why is this happening? A simple read on the situation is that a brazen publicity stunt is being met by an individual known to hog the limelight. However, a deeper analysis of the situation can be found in Karim Zidan’s latest essay The unholy Trump-Triller alliance continues at Holyfield-Belfort.
To stir up more publicity Triller’s Ryan Kavanuagh (Brett to Ortiz) announced—via ESPN’s Mike Coppinger—that his company was “in talks” with another former President about a different commentating gig. Coppinger reported that Triller was offering Barack Obama a role on their upcoming Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos card.
Many combat sports’ aficionados responded to this news with a collective, “yeah, right.” And BE’s own John S. Nash commented that “in talks” in this instance probably meant Triller had emailed the Obama Foundation and received an auto-response thanking them for their message and promising to respond at a later date.
Kevin Draper of the New York Times doused this whole thing with cold water last night. He reached out to the Obama Foundation, who classified Kavanaugh’s claims as “inaccurate”.
An Obama Foundation spokeswoman says the Foundation has not spoken with Ryan Kavanaugh and the idea that Barack Obama is in talks to commentate a boxing match is “inaccurate.” https://t.co/5vRSfakrH2— Kevin Draper (@kevinmdraper) September 10, 2021
So don’t expect a former two-term President in the Triller commentary booth anytime soon.