LAS VEGAS — As far as pro debuts are concerned, Evan Holyfield just produced a night to remember. Holyfield (1-0, 1 KO), the 21-year-old son of four-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, needed just 16 seconds to finish off Nick Winstead (0-2) in the first round of their middleweight bout on the Canelo Alvarez-Sergey Kovalev card at the MGM Grand Arena.
The four-round bout, originally contracted for junior middleweight, was contested at a catchweight after Winstead was unable to make the 154-pound limit.
"It was such a blessing to be able to showcase my talent on the card like this and God bless us all," Evan Holyfield said. "I was just expecting to box and I just went out there and did my job. I was zoned in and God just had me."
With his Hall of Fame father sitting in the front row, Holyfield came out swinging at the opening bell and landed a series of quick combinations that floored Winstead before he could even land a significant shot.
The only blemish on Holyfield's performance was that it was quietly marred by a poor stoppage as referee Robert Hoyle instantly waved off the fight without a count as Winstead was attempting to reach his feet. Despite a brief protest from the losing fighter, the call stood as the sparse crowd showered Holyfield in boos.
Holyfield, one of 11 children fathered by the former boxing champion, is the half-brother of 21-year-old Carolina Panthers running back Elijah Holyfield.