Two of the oldest champions in boxing history apparently disagree about what Mike Tyson’s future might be as the 54-year-old former heavyweight champion heads back inside a boxing ring for the first time in over 15 years against Roy Jones Jr. on September 12 in Carson, California.
One is worried about Tyson’s health and believes the legend should be super careful on fight night.
The other believes Tyson could beat the likes of Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua right now to become boxing’s first undisputed heavyweight champion in 20 years.
George Foreman Is Worried About Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.
Retired heavyweight champion George Foreman would seem to know all about the tolls boxing can take on a body as it ages. Foreman became the oldest heavyweight champion in boxing history in 1994 at age 45 when he defeated Michael Moorer via 10th-round knockout.
Foreman admitted to TMZ Sports that he was worried about Tyson and his 51-year-old opponent.
“There’s a time when you gotta worry about your health, but it’s a beautiful thing that they would even come out,” Foreman said.
“Maybe they can even name a charity or something for the recipient of the funds. I think it’s good to come out but its gotta be a fun thing, but I hope one does not hit the other.”
Still, Foreman wants to be sure both legendary returning champs know what they’re in for.
“I would just tell them it’s really dangerous but when you make up your mind to do something like that, you can’t tell them ‘don’t do it.’ They’re not gonna hear that. Even me. Big fool like me, back in the day, I only saw what I wanted to see.”
Foreman admitted he also pondered another comeback during his 50s, but that his wife changed his mind about the matter.
“I was 55 years old. I was in shape and everything,” Foreman said. “[My wife] says ‘you’re not going to do anything like that,’ I said, ‘I’m telling you, you can’t tell me what to do. I can still — I said don’t you believe in me? Look at me, I can still do it!'”
But then this happened.
“She said, ‘George, isn’t that the way you want to leave the sport believing that you can still do it?’. I got closure right there and I walked away and it was death to a fighter to realize you’re never gonna fight anymore.”
Bernard Hopkins Likes Mike Tyson’s Chance to Become Champ Again
Foreman held the record as the oldest boxing champion ever until Bernard Hopkins set the new record in 2011 by outpointing Jean Pascal to win a light heavyweight title at age 46. He broke his own record in 2013 when Hopkins won another light heavyweight title from Tavoris Cloud at age 48 and was the oldest to ever unify world titles at age 49 a year later against Beibut Shumenov.
But Hopkins doesn’t seem to share the same worry as Foreman about Tyson’s comeback.
“In this era, Mike’s got a chance of being the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world,” Hopkins said during an interview with Fight Hub.
Hopkins also said he believes the same thing about 58-year-old former champ Evander Holyfield who also has been training for a comeback fight.
Hopkins, 55, thinks both fighters could become champion in 2020.
“Take Mike Tyson, the percentage of his knowledge and what he has,” Hopkins said. “Getting conditioned is all he needs. It’s not about age with these guys, man. Not with that type of guy, because they haven’t beaten their bodies up after boxing. They haven’t been on the streets, alcohol dependent.”
Hopkins thinks both should have to earn their title shots.
“If Tyson and Holyfield can come back and say they’re ready for a ten rounder, let them fight fights that people respect. I’d say two or three fights, because of their name, because of the fanfare, and what they show…,” Hopkins said.
But if they get the chance to fight for the titles? Hopkins likes both Tyson’s and Holyfield’s chances.
“Man, listen, they got a chance in any round, in any fight because they always have that one thing that will go to the grave with them,” Hopkins said. “It’s called a puncher’s chance.”
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