Mike Tyson’s return to boxing has been rumoured for some time now. The former world heavyweight champion and benchmark for athletic dominance has once again captivated the attention of not just the combat world – but the world in its entirety. And from where we’re sitting, the Mike Tyson return fight, whenever that may be, will deliver utter carnage.
The twenty second clip you see below is just one of many recent indicators that Iron Mike is game ready – at least on face value. While it could never possibly compare to his absolute prime, his movements are sharp, his angles are tight, and the sheer conviction behind every hit – it’s the stuff of every opponent’s nightmares. Tyson might not be as agile as he once was, but one swipe on the button is all it’ll take.
It isn’t really a question of when at this point… but who. Who will step into the ring and play the part of sacrificial lamb. Sonny Bill Williams (7-0-0) and Paul Gallen (9-0-1) have raised their hands – but I think automatic disqualification should be the go if you only manage to draw with Barry Hall (lol). In any case, Tyson has already made his feelings about the matter very clear, dismissing Williams’ offer as “an insult to boxing“. If the champ is going to return, it’ll be to face a real boxer.
When we think of the term “real boxer”, a few names immediately come to mind. Incidentally, one such name has also recently announced his return – old Tyson rival, Evander Holyfield. Holyfield went on record to state he would fight in exhibition matches for a great cause, in the same spirit as many famed retired boxers.
A reunion bout between Tyson and Holyfield would undoubtedly be legendary, almost poetic in sentiment and, I suppose, life symmetry. Though at this point, it’s unclear whether Holyfield’s announcement is an official and wholehearted commitment to return; or just another person hopping aboard the Mike Tyson return hype train. We’ll believe it when we see the hard yards being put in, pad work and all.
When Tyson retired in 2005 after a loss against journeyman, Kevin McBride, he boasted a 50-6 record with two no contests. 44 of those 58 fights ended in a signature knockout from the world’s youngest heavyweight boxing titleholder – with even heavier hands. Tyson’s late-stage career trajectory is universally recognised as something of a tragedy due to third-parties who did not hold his best interest at heart (among other extra-curricular distractions). Many speculate how much more of a world breaker Tyson could have been, how much unrealised potential could have been unlocked, had celebrated trainer and father figure Cus D’Amato lived just a few more years.
We may, however, see some redemption on this epic comeback trail.