Evander Holyfield has given fans further cause for concern after slurring worryingly during an interview ahead of his comeback fight with Vitor Belfort.
The 58-year-old will fight for the first time since 2011 in a contest that has been sanctioned professionally after being moved from California to Florida.
Concerns have continued to be raised over Holyfield's health after he looked sluggish during his media workout ahead of his opponent who is 14 years his junior.
And in an interview this week the former heavyweight world champion is at times incoherent as he answers questions.
He stuttered: "I said you know, so I asked him the question how in the world did this guy go, do this with Oscar then come do this with me. I said, 'Does he know that we are different?'. I said you know well it's okay, you know he's good."
But Holyfield insists he is ready after having trained for "over two years" to take the fight despite initially preparing to face famous foe Mike Tyson.
“I thought I was getting ready to fight Mike Tyson but now I’m fighting Vitor Belfort," he said. "So, I’ve been training for two years for that.
"When they asked me to fight Vitor I said if he wants to do it then I want to do it. I put the time in the last two years and I want to get paid for my time.
"It hasn’t been a week to get ready, I’ve been training for two years. I’m more than ready and look forward to the fight.”
His opponent Belfort was set to face American Oscar De La Hoya in the ring, but he was forced to withdraw after being hospitalised with coronavirus.
But he insists it will be a "joy" to share the ring with Holyfield, and is keen to show his "boxing skills" that he developed during his time in MMA.
“It’s a joy to me to fight Evander Holyfield on Saturday night," Belfort said. "I remember when I first fought in the UFC tournament, the same month I saw Evander fight Mike Tyson the second time.
"My dream was to see MMA become as big as boxing. He’s the heavyweight king and I’m looking forward to showing my boxing skills on Saturday night. It’s an amazing opportunity for me.”
Holyfield signed to promotion label Triller in the hopes of securing a third rematch with Tyson, who walked away from his previous contract with the label after his exhibition against Roy Jones Jr.
And he reiterated his desire to make a fight "work for both people" and secure a fight that he previously labelled worth over $200 million.
"He have to want to do this," Holyfield said during an interview with Fight Hype. "He have to want to do it. It's not that I don't want to do it, but he has to want to do it for something to work. Now, things have to work for both people."
Amid concerns over the fight, legendary commentator Jim Lampley has withdrawn from his role analysing the fight after reportedly feeling anxious over being involved with the card.
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