After his exhibition against Roy Jones Jr at the end of November, Mike Tyson still has ants in his gloves. “Iron Mike” has just announced a return to the rings in September against Lennox Lewis, another former world heavyweight champion and boxing legend. If the thing has yet to be confirmed, the idea will bring back some memories: the Briton had knocked out the American in the pros in 2002.
The alumni return movement between the ropes began with Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr, at the end of November, for an exhibition that made a hit with audiences. He will continue with Evander Holyfield, who will find himself between the ropes on June 5 for a few rounds with Kevin McBride, the man who beat “Iron Mike” for the last outing of his pro career in 2005. Oscar De La Hoya He also wants to ring in the weeks to come, maybe for a “real” fight. And now maybe Lennox Lewis will join them.
The Briton, legend of the noble art and former unified champion (WBC-WBA-IBF) and undisputed heavyweight, could face Tyson at the end of the summer for a revenge exhibition of their fight of 2002 concluded by a knockout inflicted by Lewis on his opponent in the eighth round. Finally, if we are to believe “Iron Mike”. Asked by TMZ Sports about his next stint in the ring at the exit of a restaurant in Los Angeles, just as he was rushing into his car, the youngest world champion in heavyweight history dropped the information : “I will face Lennox Lewis in September!”
Given the context of the interview, and the boy’s sometimes (well, often) hazy mind, we have the right to doubt the veracity of the statement. But it almost makes sense. Retired from the rings since 2003 and his victory over Vitali Klitschko to retain his WBC title, Lewis has never put the gloves back on for a fight since. But in recent months he has started to open the door. “If that makes sense, I could come back,” he had launched on the sidelines of the “fight” Tyson-Jones, after initially seeming to be enjoying the idea. At the time, he had raised the prospect of crossing the gloves with the American Riddick Bowe, another former unified / undisputed WBC-WBA-IBF heavyweight champion whom he had beaten in the Olympic final in 1988 (Lewis was playing under the flag Canadian) but has never faced in the pros.
54 and 55 years old
But a shock against Tyson, to whom he had inflicted the “KO of the year” in 2002 according to the famous magazine The Ring, no doubt quickly seemed (rightly) more attractive to the public and much more profitable for him. “If the public wants it, we can talk,” he said in February about Tyson. The latter had entered into negotiations with Evander Holyfield, who had beaten him twice in 1996 and 1997 (having his ear bitten by the way), for an exhibition at the end of May but after positive announcements in March, the two camps did not would not have finally found a financial agreement. With Lewis, if the thing is confirmed, he has found the perfect replacement to draw the crowds.
With maybe some nice verbal games on the horizon when we remember the past: a huge general brawl had broken out at a press conference a few months before their first fight a Tyson all but at best mentally at the he era had, among other things, threatened to “eat” the Briton’s children. They shouldn’t have a hard time “selling” a rivalry. But the observation remains terrible for boxing. Two pugilists 54 (Tyson) and 55 (Lewis) could well be featured in one of the most watched fights of the year, as “Iron Mike” and Jones had been in 2020. In the meantime, Anthony Joshua-Tyson Fury is still not formalized in the heavyweights and Terence Crawford-Errol Spence Jr seems closer to the dream than to reality on the welterweight side. Art remains noble. But sometimes he is a little sad.