Joshua tips Whyte to show Povetkin shock was 'a blip', as Fury wades in

By Sports Desk August 23, 2020

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  • Tyson v Jones Jr: George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard and more famous comeback stories in boxing Tyson v Jones Jr: George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard and more famous comeback stories in boxing

    It is said in boxing that the only opponent a fighter can never expect to beat is Father Time, but Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr still fancy their chances.

    Tyson, 54, and Jones, 51, are going head to head in an exhibition bout on Saturday.

    The clash, scheduled to take place over eight two-minute rounds, will draw plenty of attention as boxing fans around the world check in on two of the sport's greats.

    Although former four-weight champion Jones fought as recently as two years ago, ex-heavyweight king Tyson's last professional contest was in 2005, losing to journeyman Kevin McBride before retiring, saying he did not have "the fighting guts or the heart anymore".

    'Iron Mike' could not resist the urge to lace up the gloves again, though, and is far from the first notable name to make an unlikely return to the ring...


    'Big George' decided to walk away from boxing in 1977 after losing on points to Jimmy Young in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The heavyweight fell ill in his dressing room after the bout and suffered what he said was a near-death experience, leading to him finding God. A born-again Christian, Foreman opted to fight again a decade on from his previous outing.

    After coming up short against world champions Evander Holyfield and Tommy Morrison, it was third time lucky for Foreman when he met Michael Moorer in November 1994. The younger man dominated throughout but, having received a grilling, Foreman turned the bout around in the 10th round, forcing a sensational stoppage. He had claimed the IBF and WBA titles and, in the process, become the oldest heavyweight champion in history at 45.


    "It's more than a comeback - I'm fighting to redeem myself." After personal issues outside the ring, Ricky Hatton returned to the sport in 2012 with the aim of making Britain "proud" of him again. A hugely popular public figure, 'The Hitman' had been out of action for just over three years since losing in painful fashion - mentally, as much as physically - to Manny Pacquiao.

    The target was to challenge again for a world title. However, the Mancunian's planned journey back to the top hit an early road block in the form of Vyacheslav Senchenko. The Ukrainian crashed the party in Manchester, dropping and stopping the hometown favourite. A heartbroken Hatton knew the game was up and went back into retirement.


    Sugar Ray was no stranger to a comeback. The five-weight world champion retired on several occasions only to be tempted back, including once for a long-awaited bout against Marvin Hagler that Leonard won via a controversial split-decision verdict in 1987.

    A defeat to Terry Norris finally appeared to be the end of the line in February 1991, yet the American laced the gloves up again six years later to face Hector 'Macho' Camacho. At 40, a past-his-prime Leonard was no match for the Puerto Rican, losing by TKO in the fifth. He quit in the aftermath and, despite further talk of yet another return, thankfully stayed away.


    A snapped anterior cruciate ligament had seemingly cut short Klitschko's fighting days. The Ukrainian was training to take on Hasim Rahman in 2005 at the time of the injury but decided to forget about the ropes and concentrate on votes instead, choosing to begin a career in politics that would eventually lead to him becoming mayor of Kiev in his homeland.

    However, his status with the WBC as 'champion emeritus' - meaning he could immediately become mandatory challenger should he fight again - allowed him a way back in. He duly took it in 2008, stepping up to take on - and beat - Samuel Peter to reign again. The swansong spanned 10 fights, all of them wins, before he returned to his other career.


    Just like Tyson, Ruddock had gone beyond his half-century when he announced his decision to fight again. "I see people older than I am. They just sit around and fade away. I don't want to fade away," said the 51-year-old heavyweight who had shared a ring with Tyson (twice) and Lennox Lewis during his prime.

    'Razor' had not been in action for 14 years yet stayed sharp by fighting three times in 2015, losing the last of them to Dillon Carman as his attempt to become Canadian champion again resulted in a heavy knockout. To put the age gap in context, Carman was just two years old when his opponent had first won the national title, way back in 1988.

  • Golovkin to defend middleweight titles against Szeremeta on December 18 Golovkin to defend middleweight titles against Szeremeta on December 18

    Gennady Golovkin will defend his IBF and IBO middleweight titles against Kamil Szeremeta on December 18.

    Golovkin, 38, was last in action in October last year, beating Sergiy Derevyanchenko by unanimous decision in New York.

    The Kazakh (40-1-1) will face unbeaten Pole Szeremeta (21-0) next month, it was announced on Tuesday.

    "@gggboxing makes history on Dec 18 with a record breaking 21st defence of his world middleweight title v IBF mandatory @szeremeta_kamil on @daznboxing from @HardRockHolly," Golovkin's promoter Eddie Hearn tweeted.

    Golovkin's second-round knockout of Vanes Martirosyan in May 2018 saw him equal Bernard Hopkins' middleweight record of 20 consecutive defences.

    But that run and his unbeaten record was ended by Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in a majority-decision loss in September of that year.

    Szeremeta has five knockouts in his 21 professional wins but has fought outside Poland just three times – including beating Oscar Cortes on the undercard for the fight between Golovkin and Derevyanchenko.

  • Tyson v Jones Jr: Two boxing legends and the shock defeats in their storied careers Tyson v Jones Jr: Two boxing legends and the shock defeats in their storied careers

    Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr return to the ring on Saturday, the two all-time greats facing each other in an exhibition contest.

    Whether you believe this to be a post-Thanksgiving treat or a sporting turn-off, considering they have a combined age of 105, the contest cannot help but evoke memories of past achievements.

    Tyson is a former undisputed heavyweight champion who was dubbed 'The Baddest Man on the Planet', while Jones won world titles at four different weights in a storied career in the paid ranks that spanned four decades.

    However, as is often the case with fighters, the final chapters can expose the harsh realities of stepping between the ropes.

    Ahead of their clash in California, scheduled to take place over eight two-minute rounds, we recall the defeats during the latter years that stunned the boxing world.


    Lennox Lewis - The Pyramid, Memphis (June 8, 2002)

    A fight long talked about between two greats in the heavyweight division finally materalised in June 2002 – though not before a further slight delay. Originally scheduled for April in the same year, a press conference brawl forced the date to be pushed back. 

    The pair, as well as their entourages, became involved in an altercation on stage to promote their upcoming meeting. WBC president Jose Sulaiman was knocked unconscious during the melee, while Tyson drew first blood – quite literally – by biting Lewis' leg. 

    As for the actual fighting in the ring, Lewis dominated. While deducted a point for pushing, the penalty did not matter as the Briton negated the need for checking the scorecards, recording a knockout win in the eighth round. A bloodied and bruised Tyson made it back onto one knee but failed to beat the count.

    Danny Williams - Freedom Hall State Fairground, Louisville (July 30, 2004)

    Tyson knocked out Clifford Etienne inside a minute in his first outing after losing to Lewis, raising the prospect of a lucrative rematch.  

    However, the American did not fight in the ring for the remainder of the year, instead becoming embroiled in legal battles. He filed for bankruptcy in August 2003 but did finally get the chance to continue his career the following July.  

    For the relatively unknown Williams, it was a chance of a lifetime. The Briton weathered an early storm in Kentucky to secure a famous victory with a fourth-round stoppage. Tyson - hampered by a knee injury suffered during the bout - started brightly but faded fast and, after slumping down to sit against the ropes, was counted out.

    Kevin McBride - MCI Center, Washington (June 11, 2005)

    After nearly a year off, Tyson returned to action against McBride with a new trainer and a renewed energy - or so it seemed. Having called his opponent a "tomato can" prior to the bout, 'Iron Mike' ended up being crushed. 

    McBride used his frame to stifle and sap the energy from a faded force in Tyson, who had had two points deducted in the sixth for a headbutt. He finished that round on his backside, albeit the trip to the canvas was not ruled a knockdown. It did not matter, though.  

    Having reached his corner, Tyson did not emerge again for the start of the next round. One of the most feared fighters in his prime was finished, in more ways than one.


    Antonio Tarver - Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas (May 15, 2004)

    Jones became the first fighter to start out at light-middleweight and go on to win a world title at heavyweight when he defeated John Ruiz on points, further cementing his legacy as one of the all-time greats.  

    He dropped back down to light-heavy for his next outing, the first episode in a trilogy with Tarver. Jones prevailed by majority decision and talked about fighting Tyson or retirement yet was back at the 175-pound limit six months later, facing his previous foe again instead. 

    With hands held low, Jones was caught in the second round of the rematch with a left hook as he attempted to land one of his own. Swaying like a sailboat in a storm, he was unable to continue, his aura of invincibility emphatically ended. Tarver won the third meeting – on points -  as well.

    Danny Green - Acer Arena, Sydney (December 2, 2009)

    Ahead of a long-awaited rematch with rival Bernard Hopkins, Jones went up against Green in a cruiserweight contest in Sydney.

    The bout in Australia was short but not sweet for the visiting fighter, as Jones was dropped by a right hand just 75 seconds into the action. While able to beat the count, a swarming Green forced a first-round stoppage.  

    Jones later launched a complaint citing use of illegal hand wraps by his rival, calling for the result be changed to a disqualification. The defeat still remains on his record but he did not miss out on the Hopkins fight, which still went ahead in 2010.

    Enzo Maccarinelli - VTB Arena, Moscow (December 12, 2015)

    Successive losses to Hopkins and then Denis Lebedev did not wilt Jones' desire to carry on campaigning in the ring. Europe became a popular destination as he put together an eight-fight winning run between 2011 and 2015.  

    However, the streak came to an emphatic end when put in against Maccarinelli in a cruiserweight bout. Now 46 years of age, Jones – who had been granted Russian citizenship following a meeting with Vladimir Putin - was dropped twice and stopped in the fourth round.   

    It appeared to be the end of the line, yet he has fought four times since, all of them victories. The most notable name among the quartet of his more-recent foes is Bobby Gunn, who built his reputation as a professional bare-knuckle boxer. 

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