A Mike Tyson Comeback? Some Things Are Better Left in the Past

When you think of great boxing comebacks, George Foreman is the first name that springs to mind. The American won his world heavyweight when he defeated Joe Frazier in 1973, aged 24. He defended his title three times, most notably against Ken Norton, before losing to Muhammad Ali in 1974’s “Rumble in the Jungle.” After a break from the sport, he returned for three more fights before retiring in 1977 after losing to Jimmy Young.

In 1987, Foreman announced his comeback. He was still only 38-years-old, but after a 10-year absence, the decision still took the boxing world by surprise. After working his way back to the top, he eventually reclaimed his world title at the age of 45, knocking out Michael Moorer in the 10th round. He became the oldest fighter ever to win a World Championship and broke the record for the longest gap between world titles.

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Foreman’s comeback was one of the most successful in sport and proved that heavyweight boxers can still compete well into their 40s. However, such achievements are rare and the news that a 53-year-old Mike Tyson might be considering a comeback of his own has divided the boxing world.

Tyson comeback represents a big risk

Boxing in your 40s is one thing. Doing it your 50s when you have not fought for 15 years is another. Tyson already looked well past his best in his final five fights, winning two and losing three including a disappointing defeat to Kevin McBride in his last bout in 2005. Tyson may be in a better place mentally now but physically, it is a lot to ask for a 53-year-old's body to turn back the clock. Most experts are urging Tyson not to step back in the ring for his own safety.

Betting markets already open

Since footage emerged of Tyson sparring on Twitter and Instagram, some bookies have already reacted and are offering odds on Tyson fights and potential opponents. To find the latest boxing odds and best boxing betting sites in your region, check out one of the many betting review sites available. As well as guides for the popular US, UK and mainland European markets, there are also guides for Australia, New Zealand and most other countries where sports betting is popular. For example, this betting guide in NZ also has an English and Swedish version. They rank betting sites based on several different criteria so you can choose the best one for you.

Who would he fight?

The news that old nemesis Evander Holyfield is also back in training has prompted rumors of a rematch between the two. Fighting a man four years older than himself might make more sense for Tyson than taking on someone half his age and the fight would certainly have plenty of novelty value.

However, Holyfield has an excuse because he is training for a charity fight but he still sent out a teasing tweet which read “Tyson 3?” If either of them makes a return to the ring it would be a box office smash but real life is not like a Rocky movie and a fight could put their health at risk. So while in principle, the idea of watching Tyson fight Holyfield again is appealing, in reality, it seems like a really bad idea.

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