On May 1, when 53-year-old former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson posted a social media clip of him training, he touched off a bit of a money frenzy. The 5-second video showed the ex-“Baddest Man on the Planet” in phenomenal physical shape and looking extremely explosive.
That was enough to set fire to the online boxing world– a world currently starving for headline-fodder due to the worldwide Covid-19 lockdown.
Tyson later confirmed that he was getting in shape for a series of charity exhibitions he’d be having at some later, undisclosed date.
Two-time former Tyson conqueror, 57-year-old Evander Holyfield, would soon follow suit, announcing his own exhibition plans.
“Are you ready? The moment you’ve all been waiting for,” the former heavyweight champ posted on his verified social media accounts. “The Champ is back! I’d like to announce that I will be making a comeback to the ring. I will be fighting in exhibition matches for a great cause: #Unite4OurFight.”
Unite 4 Our Fight is a charitable organization to aid in “social and emotional development education” during the coronavirus pandemic.
Not to be outdone, another former world champ– James “Lights Out” Toney, who stopped Holyfield back in 2003– tossed his own hat into the comeback exhibition ring.
“I’ve been hearing so much stuff about an exhibition fight between Mike [Tyson], me, and Evander [Holyfield],” the 51-year-old said via video. “If they want to do it, I don’t have a problem with it. Everybody knows my number…Give me a call. If you wanna do it, I’m here. I ain’t going nowhere.”
Even Tyson Fury’s 55-year-old father, John Fury, wants in on the 50+ fight action.
“I’m looking at fighting Mike Tyson,” the dad of the current world champ announced. “Mike’s making a comeback. I don’t value my life. But let me tell you something. Mike is someone worth doing charity with. He’s a proper king of a champion. He’s a proper man tried and tested. I’ll fight Mike Tyson. He’s making a comeback. I know he mentions my boy’s name every five minutes so here I am. John Fury is hiding from no man, not even the king of all men…I will fight Mike Tyson. Hear that then I will not be denied. I will die in a fight. I am as game as an American Yankee c*** and I will die before I give in.”
Others have attempted to latch on to this Tyson comeback frenzy. Rumors and challenges have popped up all over the place. From a bout with Shannon Briggs to a $20 million offer to fight a bare-knuckles boxing match, the buzz has been fierce. Nothing, however, has been confirmed and much has been rebuked.
But all of this does open an interesting door– especially in these tough times where the sport of boxing will need some buzz-worthy action once it re-starts operations.
Why not have a Senior Circuit of exhibitions?
There’s no denying that a tour of 4-round fights featuring the likes of Tyson, Holyfield, Toney, and maybe some other old pros like Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe, Michael Moorer, and the elder Fury would generate massive publicity and money.
Retired Mexican legends Julio Cesar Chavez and Jorge Arce put on a pair of exhibitions not too long ago which were not only money-makers, but legitimately interesting bouts.
This idea of a Senior Circuit could actually work. They’d have to make sure the fighters stay safe and that nobody is exploited, but it’s certainly a viable concept. Raise some money for charity (and the fighters), bring some attention to boxing, give fans a show– seems like a win-win for everyone.
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