Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua hopes Mike Tyson's return to boxing "adds value" to the sport.

Tyson, 54, will return to the ring for the first time in 15 years to take on 51-year-old Roy Jones Jr in an eight-round exhibition fight on September 12.

Jones was a four-weight champion – becoming the first former world middleweight ruler to win a heavyweight title since Bob Fitzsimmons 106 years earlier when he beat John Ruiz in 2003.

The all-time great has a professional record of 66-9 and has not fought since February 2018.

Former undisputed heavyweight champion Tyson retired with a 50-6 record following a defeat to Kevin McBride in 2005.

Reigning WBA, WBO and IBF king Joshua supports Tyson's return to the sport and hopes it can have a positive effect on boxing.

"Mike Tyson hitting the pads with that ferocious behaviour is just second nature to him, but to someone watching from home it looks like this guy's going to come and rule the heavyweight division," Joshua told Sky Sports.

"But I think that it's a passion they both love, it's what they know. Mike Tyson has been fighting since he was 13 years old. Roy Jones' dad pushed him and forced him to be a great.

"Good luck to them both, it's all they know. They haven't got to do it to compete with the young lions in the division now because we're bigger, we're stronger.

"Science has improved, there's more technology. The sporting world has developed as a whole.

"But if Mike Tyson wants to come back and fight someone from his era, for the love of the sport, crack on.

"I wish them both well, I hope they come out healthy and I hope it adds value to the sport of boxing – the sport we love."

Toxic masculinity fails men. In some cases, it promotes violence. Despite the tendency to increasingly romanticise it, I think it’s time to take a different approach, especially within the world of sport where it can promote self-harm.

What we need to do is change our way of thinking. Why? Because, as it is now, most athletes glamorize pain. They valourize playing through injuries or discomfort.  Often, there is no limit to what these athletes are willing to sacrifice.  A few infamous examples come readily to mind.

In 1986, boxing great and baddest man on the planet, Mike Tyson, competed while suffering from gonorrhea. He battled Trevor Berbick for the heavyweight title. Tyson won but admitted Mike Jr had been burning badly the whole time. He literally put the most sacred of male parts on the line.

New York Knicks Hall of Famer Willis Reed tore his quad during the 1970 NBA final.  He understandably missed game 6 and no one expected to see him for the rest of the series. Nevertheless, Reed showed up for game 7 and demanded to go on the court.  Although he managed to score only two baskets, the Knick won their first title, competing hurt was praised by fans. Many described it as bravery, but it may have shortened his career.

Famous Japanese gymnast Shun Fujimoto broke his knee while competing at the 1976 Summer Olympics. Amazingly, he went on to score 9.5 on the pommel horse and 9.7 on the rings with the damaged joint.  To finish the routine, he landed from the rings eight feet above the ground and kept his balance before collapsing.  His completion of the routines enabled the team to narrowly defeat the Soviet Union and claim gold, but he could have been permanently disabled.  Would it have been worth it for a medal?

On the flip side, athletes are often ridiculed and judged when they decide to take care of themselves. Take Asafa Powell for instance.

Many times, when Asafa wasn’t at full strength for a race, I remember vividly hearing the words, “Asafa pull up again!!?” His injuries held him back. It wasn’t uncommon seeing him lag behind due to problems with his hamstring.

He also had a lingering groin injury.  This meant sometimes he couldn’t participate or excel in the big races— special races to Jamaicans.  Some fans didn’t take too well to his decisions to sit out. Some figured he was weak.  I understand men want to be strong and in charge but when they think like that, their strength works against them.

In other cases, toxic masculinity can be a hindrance to men comfortably expressing their emotions, even towards those who need it most, their children.

Two years ago, Damian Marley released his song Living It Up. It celebrates a generational victory for the Marley family - making it out of the ghetto. The music video showed Marley traversing the streets of Trench Town with his son.

While journeying through “the birthplace of reggae”, Marley was tender, watchful, attentive, and protective of his son. At one point, his body language said it all. He gently held the back of his son's neck guiding him in a loving way.

Similarly, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing my dad nurture my brother.  It’s something many boys and men may never experience.  Still, the seeds planted by men today can limit the dangers of toxic masculinity tomorrow.

I know the previous paragraph would have been a nice conclusion, but I forgot to mention something:

Countless men are uncomfortable seeing emotions other than anger.

There are times I overhear comments from men watching football. They ruthlessly express their disgust at how footballers celebrate a victory— by hugging each other. Something so innocent. What’s up with that!?? I dare you to hug your dad for Father’s Day.

Anthony Joshua has ruled out the prospect of facing boxing great Mike Tyson on his return to the ring as he believes no fan would want to see the current heavyweight champion prevail.

Former undisputed world champion Tyson, now 53, is reportedly ready to fight again in exhibition and charity bouts.

And UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz and Joshua's heavyweight rival Tyson Fury both claim to have been offered bouts against 'Iron Mike'.

But Joshua, who reclaimed his IBF, WBA and WBO belts against Andy Ruiz Jr in December, is not interested in facing a legend of the sport.

"With all due respect, I wouldn't [fight Tyson]," he told The Sun.

"Even if I fought Iron Mike and beat him, I think I'd be the only one cheering. People would boo. He is a legend. He is the greatest boxer of the modern era.

"There are only two recognised champions the world knows of, [Muhammad] Ali and Mike Tyson, the most recognised faces in the world when it comes to boxing."

Joshua insists he also has respect for Fury, even as he aims to unify the division.

"I don't want to be in that position where I am talking down Tyson Fury," he said.

"He is a great person and he has done great things in boxing, but until the day we fight, that is where it ends and I don't have anything else to say about him.

"I really want the belt and that is where I stand with Tyson Fury."

Babe Ruth knew time was up on his baseball playing career on May 30 in 1935, but his name lives on and many consider him the greatest player to have swung a bat.

Liverpool supporters may look back fondly on memories of 1984 at the Stadio Olimpico, where Joe Fagan's team rocked Roma in the European Cup final.

The brilliant and brute force of Mike Tyson was felt on this day in 1987 by Pinklon Thomas.

And Alastair Cook, the great England opening batsman, made history not once but twice in successive years on this date.

Here is a look at those famous moments in sporting history.

 

1935 – Babe Ruth struck out for the last time

Nothing that happened in his short spell at the Boston Braves could stain his name, yet Ruth's move from the New York Yankees turned out to be an almighty flop. Arriving in February 1935, Ruth – baseball's biggest draw of the era and a player whose name resonates to this day – offered just glimpses of his glory days. On May 25, he thundered three home runs, albeit in a losing cause against Pittsburgh. That feat took his career haul to a then-record 714 homers, and there would be no more, Ruth playing his final game five days later against the Phillies. At the age of 40, out of shape and a shadow of his former self as a player, Ruth called it quits, his retirement announced days later.

1984 - Liverpool stun Roma - in Rome

Liverpool's fourth European Cup, like their fifth 21 years later, came thanks to a penalty shoot-out win against Italian opposition. In 2005, Liverpool had their 'Miracle of Istanbul' against Milan, but in 1984 the English giants had the nerve to beat Roma in Rome, in what was the first shoot-out in a European Cup final. Phil Neal's early strike for Liverpool was matched by Roma's Roberto Pruzzo before half-time and there would be no further goals. Fagan's Liverpool were the team that proved steadiest under pressure in the penalty shoot-out, despite Steve Nicol's early miss. Neal, Graeme Souness and Ian Rush stepped up to score, and after Bruce Grobbelaar's wobbly-legged wind-up routine put off Francesco Graziani, who skied his shot, Alan Kennedy stepped up to fire home and clinch the trophy.

1987 - Tyson takes down Thomas

Thomas was a more-than-useful American heavyweight in the mid-1980s, a fighter who had held the WBC belt before and fancied getting it back. The only problem for Thomas was that Tyson owned the belt, and the latter felt it suited him rather better than it suited Thomas. That theory was put to the test on a Saturday night in Las Vegas, and despite Thomas' jab keeping Tyson busy, trouble was soon brewing for the challenger. A thundering left hook from Tyson had Thomas wobbling in the sixth round and was followed by a flurry of punches that sent the 29-year-old to the canvas. Thomas just about managed to get to his feet but trainer Angelo Dundee stepped in, taking his man out of harm's way, Tyson retaining the WBC and WBA titles.

2015 and 2016 - Cook's England landmarks

Cook, born on Christmas Day in 1984, was the gift that kept on giving for England. Plucked from the county circuit as a prodigy who already had a double century for Essex against Australia, Cook piled on the Test runs for his country, including a ton on his debut in 2006 against India. On this day in 2015, the then-captain Cook passed his Essex mentor Graham Gooch to become England's all-time leading Test run-scorer during an innings of 75 against New Zealand at Headingley. Not content with overtaking Gooch's mark of 8,900 runs, Cook went on to achieve another May 30 feat 12 months later, becoming the first Englishman to tally 10,000 Test runs. He reached that total on the way to England securing a nine-wicket win over Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street.

Age shouldn't mean a thing to Mike Tyson according to Kevin Johnson – with the US heavyweight the latest boxer to give the two-time world champion's comeback bid his seal of approval.

Tyson has set tongues wagging over recent weeks, teasing a return to the ring with a series of explosive pad workouts.

While there are obvious concerns that a 53-year-old with such a chequered past is considering lacing gloves again – even if only for exhibition or charity bouts – current unified heavyweight king Anthony Joshua, all-time great Larry Holmes and WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman are among those to have given their backing.

Johnson, who challenged Vitali Klitschko for the WBC title in 2009 and has shared the ring with Joshua, Tyson Fury and Andy Ruiz Jr among others, is impressed by the speed Tyson appears to have retained, alongside his trademark power.

"I love it. As you can see in those videos, he's still got it," Johnson told Stats Perform News.

"The punch never goes away. George Foreman proved that to the world. Age doesn't mean nothing, it's all about your conditioning and what you have left.

"Of course, you can see he's still got the speed and power. That's the crazy part – I wouldn't think he had the speed – he's got it still!"

Evander Holyfield has spoken of a possible third meeting between the old rivals, despite the 'Real Deal' himself being 57 and the fact Tyson infamously bit off a chunk of his ear in their 1997 rematch.

Johnson crossed paths with both men as a young fighter and holds them both in the highest regard.

"I lived in Atlanta, so me and Evander always bumped into one another," Johnson recalled. "He had a gym in Atlanta, I had a gym in Douglasville, so we always were at events and stuff together.

"Mike Tyson trained in Jersey, I trained in Jersey as well. I met Mike Tyson early on. It was iconic for me, like a person meeting Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. I admired those guys."

While any Tyson bouts remain a matter for speculation or fantasy at this stage, Johnson is in the unique position of having a fight date confirmed and ready to go amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 40-year-old will face fellow former world title challenger Mariusz Wach at Palac w Konarach in Konary, Poland, as part of a behind-closed-doors event on June 12.

"We want the world to know that fights can still happen," Johnson said. "We're the first ones to do it.

"This is a time right now where we're both putting our life on the line and it shows the tremendous heart and warrior spirit of two great fighters."

Mike Tyson will be ranked by the WBC if boxing competitively is part of his comeback plans, says the governing body's president Mauricio Sulaiman.

Former two-time heavyweight champion Tyson has sparked excitement and no little consternation through a succession of social media videos that show him going through explosive pad workouts.

During one such clip, the 53-year-old declared: "I'm back."

Tyson's old rival Evander Holyfield, himself now 57, has stated he would be prepared to face a man who infamously bit off a chunk of his ear in their 1997 rematch.

That would be a third meeting between Tyson and Holyfield, while 48-year-old heavyweight Shannon Briggs claims to have signed to fight his fellow Brooklyn native.

Both of those mooted bouts would seemingly be exhibition events for charity, although another of the division's all-time greats – Larry Holmes – remarkably suggested this week that the winner of Holyfield-Tyson III could then be pitted against a current top-10 contender.

When this was put to Sulaiman, who was speaking to Stats Perform News courtesy of @trcksuits, he responded: "Mike Tyson was the youngest to win a world championship. Maybe he will be the oldest! He’s a tremendous, legendary figure. He’s an icon for the sport, an icon for the WBC.

"He could knock out anyone with one punch, at any time! So of course we will support him.

"I don't like to speculate. This is a topic we are all entertained by. An exhibition is one thing; if he comes back he has to be licensed and has to go through a thorough process.

"I’m not going to kill the dream. I’m going to be very supportive of Mike Tyson, he deserves it. If the dream is to say 'I will be ranked', I am saying yes we will rank him.

"Every world champion has a provision that he can come back, like Sugar Ray [Leonard] who was inactive. But Tyson’s case is different, he’s been away many years.

"But I am in full support of Mike Tyson. I believe this will bring entertainment and he’s doing it for charity. He wants to serve the world in this difficult moment."

Sulaiman was keen to point to Tyson's considerable ring absence, considering his decorated ring career ended in 2005 on the back of consecutive stoppage losses to Danny Williams and Kevin McBride.

"We need to first understand what it is. I think it’s an exhibition. The safety has to be top priority," he said.

"It is great to see athletes promoting the sport. Mike Tyson had a very complicated life in boxing.

"Now to see him losing weight, active, healthy, is great and we have to support him. But we have to see if it is a real fight. I am hearing that it’s an exhibition and we are fully behind him."

Tyson's complex life in and out of the ring has led to concerns over the adverse effects him lacing gloves again could have for the sport as a whole.

However, Sulaiman balked at the idea any negative publicity would be problematic

"Don’t watch it, if you don't like it," he added. "I love to see NFL players do reunions, I love to see legends doing something.

"Why not allow them to do something for charity? The only thing we have to be careful about is their safety. Why would we block it otherwise? We offer him our full support."

Dave Allen believes he would beat a 53-year-old Mike Tyson and feels that provides ample reason for the heavyweight great never to set foot in a ring again. 

Speculation is mounting of Tyson's future plans after the former world champion posted several videos online of him thrashing through some explosive pad workouts. 

Tyson's old rival Evander Holyfield, now 57, has also suggested he is ready to comeback for exhibition and charity bouts – even stating he is open to a third meeting with the man who infamously bit off a chunk of his ear when they last met in 1997. 

Nevertheless, British heavyweight Allen – who holds a career record of 18 wins, five defeats and two draws – is uneasy over the prospect, with particular concerns over Tyson making a return over 33 years since the start of his first reign as champion. 

"If I got offered the Mike Tyson fight, the money would be fantastic but it wouldn’t sit right, would it?" Allen said in an interview with talkSPORT 2. 

"A lot of people would laugh at this, but this is the fact – I would beat a 53-year-old Mike Tyson. 

"And that is the saddest thing any boxing fan wants to hear. For that reason alone, he should never box again. 

"I think fighting’s a young man's game. I'm 28 years old, I've had a lot of hard fights and people are saying to me, 'David, you’re coming to the end of your career now'. 

"I've talked to people saying I should stop before because I've had some hard fights. 

"People see him on the pads, a little minute clip, and say, 'Oh, he could come back and beat everybody'." 

Allen feels the romantic notion of Tyson giving Father Time the slip in his sixth decade obscures the reality of a painful career denouement at the start of the century, when a one-sided hammering against Lennox Lewis preceded defeats to Danny Williams and Kevin McBride – two fighters a prime 'Iron Mike' would have dealt with handily, in all probability.

"I remember 18 years ago him losing to Lennox Lewis after seven one-sided rounds," he added.

"A year later he lost to Danny Williams, then again he lost to Kevin McBride. This is 16 years ago.

"Mike Tyson's one of the greatest fighters of all time, but you can’t turn back the clock and he'll never be what he was. So I don't really want to see it."

For many sports fans, Mike Tyson has been the most dangerous fighter in heavyweight boxing history.

At the start of his career, he ferociously knocked out his first 19 opponents, 12 in the first round and 84% of them inside the first three. That conquered group may not have been challenging but the New Yorker’s cold-blooded demolition of them made a huge statement about where his career was heading.

Within 21 months of being a pro, Tyson would become the youngest World Heavyweight champion in history at 20 years and four months with a brutal two-round win over Jamaican Trevor Berbick in Las Vegas.

Tyson’s raging life of crests and troughs -- in and out of the ring -- includes a 1992 prison sentence and who knows what chapters are still to be written in his storied career.

Two separate Instagram posts this month showing surprisingly striking punching power and speed from the 53 year-old sent tongues wagging about the ex-champion’s possible return to the ring.

Tyson said he is getting into shape for some charity exhibition bouts but his other remarks that the Gods of war have “reawakened” him and “ignited” his ego “to go to war again” aren’t conjuring images in my mind of exhibition outings. He also said he feels “unstoppable now” and like he is young again.

Insiders are suggesting whatever charity engagements he speaks of are just a teaser to things more massive.

At the end of his most recent video, Tyson proclaimed "I'm back" but I am hoping he is not contemplating a serious return because the current crowd of top-flight heavyweights are big, powerful and tall and would be too much for an almost senior citizen Tyson.

It’s a no-brainer for me that Tyson should, since his desire is heightened, feel free to engage in exhibition bouts but he should spurn any temptation to tackle top-10 men and champions. History is replete with great heavyweight names suffering humiliating defeats during protracted careers.

Watching a run-of-the-mill Berbick in December 1981 dominate Muhammad Ali in “The Greatest’s” last fight at age 39 in Nassau and Tyson savagely extinguishing a genuinely solid but fading 38 year-old Larry Holmes in Atlantic City in January 1988 were just two of many such sad moments in boxing history for me. Tyson has already given us a few of those flashes with three losses in his last four fights and I don’t wish to see anymore.

Big George Foreman, who returned to boxing as a 38-year-old in 1987 after a 10-year retirement and claimed WBA and IBF world titles, is shockingly endorsing a serious comeback for Tyson.

After watching Tyson’s sharpness and intensity in the video posts, Foreman suggests Tyson looks like he has “turned the clock back at least 20 years” and declared him fully capable of becoming a top contender again if he commits to training and “dedicates himself to that for about 10 months”.

Foreman’s pronouncements though are partly an illustration of the deep respect and rating he has for Tyson. Decades later, Foreman admits to the fear he had for “Iron Mike” as he stayed away from any clash with the Brooklyn native while they were active at the same time during the 1990s. Foreman labelled Tyson a “nightmare” and a “monster” that he wanted no part of.

Now Foreman seems to be encouraging Tyson to re-enact a part of boxing history that he Foreman starred in, his remarkable comeback from 10 years in retirement to be crowned the oldest heavyweight champion ever at 45 years old.

Tyson doing a Foreman though is highly improbable for several reasons. Tyson is 53 years old, not the 38 that Big George started his comeback at. Tyson has been out of the ring for 15 years, five years longer than Foreman was dormant, and at 6’ 4” and over 250 pounds, Foreman – though lumbering and lacking speed -- often used his overwhelming size to manhandle his smaller opponents.

Tyson is a short heavyweight at only 5’ 10” and his advancing years would have diminished many other assets he had used in his prime to offset his physical deficits.

I simply cannot side with Foreman’s take on this proposed Tyson “comeback” even though I have a very healthy respect for Foreman’s understanding of Tyson. He has been right, prophetic even, about so many things regarding “Iron” Mike including his prediction during his first reign as champion that women would be the downfall of Tyson.

Of course, Tyson was soon after Foreman’s forecast, mentally derailed by his highly publicized calamitous marriage with actor Robin Givens that ended in divorce within two years in 1989. A few years later in 1992, Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison for raping 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant Desiree Washington.

Muhammad Ali is widely regarded as heavyweight boxing’s greatest ever, but Tyson at his violent best could probably have beaten him and every other heavyweight in history.

Ali’s unquestionable craft, multi-dimensional skills and confidence would probably have served him well in a Tyson clash. He advertised those qualities in clinically cutting down other frightening punchers like Foreman and Sonny Liston. Liston and Foreman were like massive dangerous beasts who boxers were afraid of. Ali wasn’t scared and if he was he didn’t show it and knocked them both out. Tyson was also a beast of a fighter but with bullet-like hand speed that Liston and Foreman never had.

A lot is being said about Tyson’s changed lifestyle, no drugs, a plant-based diet and his physical conditioning completely reversed from the man who had bulged from a regular fight weight of 220 pounds to over 350 pounds after retirement 11 years ago.

Ex-champions Oscar De La Hoya and Jeff Fenech have said in the past week that this 53-year-old could easily measure up to the current top heavyweights, Fenech even suggested that Tyson – with six weeks training -- would beat current WBC World No.2 Deontay Wilder by knockout.

Insiders believe Tyson is significantly better today than the last few years of his career 2003 to 2005 when he lost to Danny Williams and Kevin McBride. He had better be if he is serious about a comeback because the mediocre Irishman McBride, who stopped him in his last fight in June 2005, would not have beaten the real Mike Tyson even if the American was blindfolded and had one arm strapped to his body.

If a pitiful 6th-round loss to a less than second-rate McBride was what Tyson gave me 15 years ago, what extraordinary transformation can we expect as he approaches his 54th birthday in a few weeks?

Tyson’s recent sparring video honestly looks dazzling and extraordinary for his age. His trainer Rafael Cordeiro swears he is hitting the training pads with the same speed and power as guys 21 and 22 years old but we have to be real, that “Baddest man on the planet” disappeared more than 20 years ago and he isn’t coming back.

Conor McGregor has welcomed high praise from Mike Tyson and promised on his life he will "crack the puzzle" to win an "inevitable rematch" with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Heavyweight great Tyson, who recently revealed he was coming out of retirement, talked up UFC star McGregor's showing when he was beaten by the legendary Mayweather in his professional boxing debut in 2017.

The former world champion said in the latest edition of his Hotboxin' with Mike Tyson podcast: "He [McGregor] never really had a boxing match in his life, right?

"He went 10 rounds with the greatest fighter in the last 100 years of boxing. He went 10 rounds, scored punches on the greatest fighter in the last 100 years.

"Did he do something? Did he accomplish something? People should look who he had the fight against and look what he did when he fought against him."

Mayweather, who quit with a perfect 50-0 record, says he has no interest in boxing again but is open to the idea of more fights that give him a chance to "entertain and have a little fun".

McGregor expressed his gratitude to Tyson and vowed to gain revenge in a second fight with Mayweather that he believes is bound to happen.

He tweeted: "Thank you Mike, and just know that for the inevitable rematch, with the knowledge I now hold of Floyd's style, plus under the tutelage of my old school boxing coach, I will crack the puzzle, and I will beat Floyd.

"I promise my life on it. It is great to see you back Iron Mike."

Eddie Hearn concedes it may be "irresponsible" to let Mike Tyson return to boxing at the age of 53 - but acknowledges it would be a compelling prospect for the sport.

Tyson declared "I'm back" as he cut an ominous figure during an intense, ferocious training video he posted on social media this week.

It came after the American had indicated he would be willing to return to the ring to compete in some exhibition fights.

Meanwhile, his former rival, 57-year-old Evander Holyfield, revealed he would be willing to accept facing Tyson for a third time in a charity bout, as well as pursuing a battle with another famous name from the past in Riddick Bowe.

Hearn, who manages Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte, says a person linked to Tyson has reached out to him to promote his potential comeback, leaving him facing a moral dilemma.

"I would probably like to see it but I feel, is it a bit irresponsible to let a 53-year-old legend back in the ring?" Hearn told British Boxing Television.

"I had a message from someone saying they wanted to talk to me about Mike.

"He looks pretty dangerous. What's compelling is could he actually go back in at 53 and do some damage in the division? Maybe, maybe not. But should we be encouraging that from an all-time great?

"There's a fine line - and I've crossed it a couple of times - between integrity of the sport and entertainment delivering numbers. I know people will say, 'Well, you did the YouTube fight with KSI'.

"Our job is to deliver numbers for broadcasters but we have to keep it as close to the right mark as we can."

The retired Tyson last fought in 2005 when he was defeated by Kevin McBride, suffering his third loss in his last four bouts.

He is a two-time WBA and WBC heavyweight champion, while he also held the IBF strap in a career that saw him finish with a 50-6 record.

Hearn believes there is one clear reason why fighters are being tempted to come out of retirement, amid speculation Floyd Mayweather Jr and Carl Froch could do the same.

"Money," he said. "Fighters and legends are seeing other fighters make money for fights they think are insignificant.

"Tyson isn't think about wanting to come back to add to the legacy. He's thinking how much he can get, simple. The answer is quite a lot of money."

Mike Tyson declared "I'm back" as he cut an ominous figure during an intense training session.

The heavyweight boxing legend raised eyebrows when he recently revealed his plans for a return to the ring at the age of 53.

Former world champion Tyson is open to exhibition fights for charity 15 years after he retired.

Evander Holyfield, 57, said he would be up for a trilogy bout with Tyson, who looked in great shape as he showed he can still very much pack a punch in an Instagram clip posted on Monday.

Boxing's comeback culture may have reached its nadir after Evander Holyfield indicated he could fight Mike Tyson for a third time.

Almost a quarter of a century since part of his ear was bitten off by his American rival, Holyfield said he and fellow old-stager Tyson could get into the ring again for an exhibition fight.

Both men have in recent days declared they will pull the boxing gloves on again and fight, with 57-year-old Holyfield and 53-year-old Tyson having spent years in retirement.

Four-time world heavyweight champion Holyfield has not fought since May 2011, when he knocked out Brian Nielsen in his 57th professional outing, and he quit in 2014.

He intends to return to the ring to raise funds for charity Unite 4 Our Fight, revealing Riddick Bowe would be his preferred opponent.

But when asked about the prospect of facing Tyson again, Holyfield told TMZ Sports: "It wouldn't bother me to do so. I'm always thinking that the person who takes care of themselves well, they're the ones that tend to last even though I'm four years older than him. It would be no problem.

"My manager, he had talks and all that, but the fact is with me personally I think that's for me to ask; the only person I would actually really ask is Riddick Bowe because me and him are buddies."

Bowe, like Tyson and Holyfield, is a former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, and the 52-year-old has not fought since 2008.

Holyfield was asked about his relationship with Tyson, more than two decades on from the shameful scenes in Las Vegas that saw Tyson disqualified from their second world title fight, and said the pair now get along.

"I would think so," he said. "Life's about two people really trusting each other and what can we do now."

And Holyfield said the ear injury that Tyson inflicted on him was a reminder less of the bite, but of the $35million he said he received for that 1997 bout at the MGM Grand.

The first fight between the two in 1996 saw Holyfield stop Tyson in the penultimate round to win the WBA heavyweight belt, with the 1997 rematch going down as one of sport's most extraordinary occasions.

When it comes to whetting the appetite for the big event through a combination of chicanery, politicking and delaying tactics, boxing is a sport in a league of its own.

But, while most leading promoters view their abilities to let an anticipated bout "marinate" as something akin to an art, frustration among fans generally sets in long before the fights they want to happen come to fruition.

Floyd Mayweather Jr's unanimous points win over Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas five years ago today is a case in point.

Talk of pound-for-pound king Mayweather taking on Pacquiao first emerged when the Filipino sensation jumped two weight classes to batter a shopworn Oscar De La Hoya in December 2008. The intervening period did Pacquiao and the sport itself few favours.

As the list below shows, it takes a special fight to handle the weight of such expectation.

JOE FRAZIER v MUHAMMAD ALI I (MARCH 8, 1971)

We can't really blame promoters for the wait for this one, as Ali endured an enforced three-and-a-half-year ring absence following a refusal to be drafted for the Vietnam War. In his absence, Frazier became a formidable heavyweight champion in his own right and, four years on from his previous title defence, Ali had the chance to regain his title at an expectant Madison Square Garden.

Was it worth the wait?

Absolutely. It takes a special fight to live up to and surpass the promotional banner of 'The Fight of the Century'. This was special. Ali's quicksilver skills were to the fore early on but Frazier was typically unrelenting and turned the tide on 'The Greatest'. A signature left hook shook Ali to his boots in round 11 and another put him on the seat of his shorts during a dramatic final round. Frazier won a unanimous points verdict and the most riveting rivalry in boxing history was on the road to the gripping and horrifying brutality of its final act in Manila.

MARVIN HAGLER v TOMMY HEARNS (APRIL 15, 1985)

Middleweight king Hagler was slated to face Hearns three years earlier before the latter suffered a hand injury. A delay became a cancellation, something that left simmering animosity within Hagler. That was stoked by a press tour of 21 cities to promote 'The War'. Enough was enough and, when the first bell sounded at Caesars Palace, the two men promptly set about trying to take each other's heads off.

Was it worth the wait?

Yes, yes and thrice yes. The eight minutes of unruly mayhem Hagler and Hearns shared together are frequently cited as the best fight of all time and serve as a barometer against which all other pretentions for boxing entertainment are measured. The first round remains scarcely believable as both men unloaded a torrent of heavy shots. Both were hurt, Hagler was cut badly but the exertions took more out of Hearns, who was unable to beat the count when 'Marvelous' deposited his exhausted frame on the canvas a minute into round three.

LENNOX LEWIS v MIKE TYSON (JUNE 8, 2002)

After sparring as teenagers, Lewis was unlikely to have anticipated both he and Tyson would be approaching 40 by the time they met in a professional ring. But the Briton's first reign as heavyweight champion coincided with Tyson's prison sentence for rape, while he won the title for a second time against an Evander Holyfield with infamously diminished ears following a rematch with 'Iron Mike'. Throw in both men being on either side of the HBO and Showtime pay-per-view divide, Lewis' shock loss to Hasim Rahman and Tyson biting his foe at the initial media event and it's a wonder their Memphis meeting ever came to pass.

Was it worth the wait?

Lewis will certainly think so because it left him emphatically as the last man standing from a great heavyweight era, with nothing left to prove. However, Tyson was a far cry from the 'Baddest Man on the Planet' by this stage and offered little after a moderately encouraging first round. There was even a sense of Lewis propping him up until the round-eight finale to prolong the punishment. In hindsight, Lewis scrambling through adversity against a prime Vitali Klitschko next time out stands as a better achievement, while Tyson was on his way to back-to-back losses against Danny Williams and Kevin McBride and a sorry career end.

BERNARD HOPKINS v ROY JONES JR (APRIL 3, 2010)

Waiting 17 years and the duration of a record-breaking run as middleweight champion for revenge would drive most men insane. Hopkins is not most men. During their initial fight in 1993, Jones befuddled him over 12 rounds. Both would go on to achieve greatness but stay away from one another's orbits for almost two decades.

Was it worth the wait?

Like Lewis, Hopkins took huge satisfaction from this redemptive triumph. But the wily veteran's age-defying exploits at the end of his career were often more enjoyable on paper than they were in the ring. A defensive master to frustrate the best, Hopkins in his 40s was never particularly easy on the eye. And, while the Philadelphia great extended his peak impressively, Jones' best days were far back in the rear-view mirror. Either side of this fractious, foul-stained encounter, he was knocked out by Danny Green and Denis Lebedev.

FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR v MANNY PACQUIAO (MAY 2, 2015)

As the sport's biggest draw, Mayweather was a master at making sure he fought the best on his terms at a time of his choosing. Did the Pacquiao who scythed through Ricky Hatton and beat up Miguel Cotto in 2009 represent too much of a risk? Nine fights and five years later, 'Pacman' was yet to record another stoppage and had been brutally knocked out by his nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez. The Money Team were ready to do business.

Was it worth the wait?

Mayweather was truly masterful here, perplexing Pacquiao and running out a clear winner. However, a brilliant performance does not necessarily make for a brilliant contest – a near constant during Mayweather's peerless late career. The prospect of Pacquiao throwing fewer punches than his rival would have been unfathomable five years earlier, when this contest would have been far more competitive and rewarding.

GENNADIY GOLOVKIN v SAUL 'CANELO' ALVAREZ I (SEPTEMBER 16, 2017)

Mayweather's astute timing of when to box an opponent was also evident when he schooled a greenhorn Alvarez in 2013. The Mexican pretender to his pound-for-pound crown was paying attention. Middleweight title wins against Cotto and Amir Khan came at catchweights below the 160lb limit before he stepped down a division to dethrone Liam Smith as opposed to facing Golovkin, who was busy standing a succession of full-fledged middleweights on their heads. After an all-Mexican grudge match against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, the time was right.

Was it worth the wait?

Yes - a big drama show! Canelo and GGG served up 12 rounds of high-skilled, pulsating action and soaked up one another's best shots – a particular novelty for any Golovkin opponent. Few doubted the Kazakh superstar had done enough to take the verdict on the cards but a split decision draw meant they were obliged to reconvene in Las Vegas a year later. That time another disputed decision in an even better fight went Alvarez's way and a third encounter is in the works.

The date, November 22, 1986, The place, the Las Vegas Hilton hotel in the United States. The occasion, the WBC heavyweight championship clash between Jamaica’s Trevor Berbick and the USA’s Mike Tyson. Round two. Tyson almost knocks Berbick’s head off with a massive overhand right. Berbick, his faculties barely intact, initiates a clinch. Tyson wants none of it. He frees himself enough to land a booming right to the body, shifting Berbick’s intestines and internal organs like a housekeeper rearranging living room furniture. The the-20-year-old demon then goes for a murderous uppercut with the right. He misses. Tyson then connects with a left hook that must have felt like a crowbar as it crashed into Berbick’s left temple. The Jamaican falls. Legs like jelly and a brain giving his limbs 500 commands all at once, undermines Berbick’s attempts to stand and fight on. As he falls into the ropes like a bag of yam flung off a truck at the Coronation Market, referee Mills Lane gives the universal gesture signalling the fight is over.

History should by now have attached significance to what happened inside Committee Room 15 at Britain’s House of Commons in London on May 10, 2011. It was there that the former head of the Football Association in England, Lord Triesman made damning allegations about Austin Jack Warner as he addressed Members of Parliament sitting on the Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Triesman told the MPs that Jack Warner asked for £2.5 million to build an Education Centre in Trinidad and Tobago, with all the cash channelled through him. Lord Triesman also alleged that Warner asked for £500,000 to buy Haiti’s World Cup TV rights, again with all the money being channelled through him. The claims were shocking if only for the fact that it was the first time such a senior administrator had accused Jack Warner of corruption. It wasn’t only what Lord Triesman had said though. It was about where he said it. It wasn’t him talking at an after-dinner event or giving an interview to a journalist. He was, for all intents and purposes testifying to the highest decision-making body in Britain about the reasons for England’s failure to secure the rights to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Now Warner had long been rumoured to be jowl deep in corruption as he wielded awesome power as a FIFA Vice President, CONCACAF boss and head of the CFU. Indeed, the British journalist Andrew Jennings achieved fame through his ravenous hounding of Warner, whom he believed to have been the most corrupt administrator in all of sport. But despite numerous claims of wrongdoing, nothing ever stuck. It birthed the nickname ‘Teflon Jack’ as none of the mud slung at this son of Santo Claro could ever sully his reputation. In his heyday, which lasted for decades, Jack Warner was one of the most powerful men in the world, let alone sport or football. He was there on the couch at the White House in 2009 when his old friend, Joseph Sepp Blatter, presented jerseys to US President Barack Obama. He was the man who any nation preparing a bid for World Cups and big tournaments in CONCACAF and the CFU had to get on side if they were to have any hope of success in the voting process. He was a man who had an extraordinary work ethic, famously inviting associates for meetings at 5 am at his office, only for them to turn up at a quarter to five and be told that Warner could not chit-chat with them as he was already in a meeting with other associates. The same Warner would then be sending emails at 10 pm, leaving persons to wonder if he ever slept.

So Lord Triesman’s testimony was the start of the tide changing for Warner. Only 19 days after that statement to British MPs, Warner was suspended by FIFA for what was alleged to have been his role in the corruption of officials of the CFU at a now-infamous meeting held at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Port of Spain. A month later, on June 20, 2011, Jack Warner resigned as FIFA Vice President and his long list of enemies now undertook the task of turning his fall from grace into imprisonment.

There’s no need to retell too much of his recent history. We all know Warner has gone to the UK Privy Council to fight his extradition to the USA to face multiple charges of bribery and corruption related to the awarding of rights for the hosting of World Cup tournaments. On March 18 this year, a fresh indictment was filed at the United States District Court (Eastern District Court of New York), naming Jack Warner among 17 defendants charged with a massive and sophisticated corruption of football as a sport and FIFA as a governing body.

With two hefty US Federal indictments and a laundry list of charges against him, Jack Warner appears to be Trevor Berbick fighting against Mike Tyson. The now 77-year-old has always maintained his innocence, staying true to his vow to fight the charges with every resource available to him. But the game appears to be up. If the first indictment and attendant charges were like the body punch that Tyson hit Berbick with 34 years ago, then this second indictment is like that left hook to the temple. Even if by some miracle he beats the charges, Warner’s name will never be cleared. For the tapestry of crimes woven by US prosecutors you feel that even if he’s acquitted, Jack Warner will always be in jail, just minus the bars. This is Warner’s extended Trevor Berbick moment. And the US prosecutors are like a prime time Mike Tyson, sizing up their target and going in for the kill. What chance does uncle Jack’s glass jaw have against a raging Iron Mike? Selah.

Serena Williams is determined to come out swinging at the Australian Open next month and is taking tips from Mike Tyson on how to pack a punch.

At 38, Williams is in supreme shape but still sees room for improvement, and this week's boxing training session with former world heavyweight boxing king Tyson should help her go blow for blow with her tennis rivals.

The 23-time grand slam champion is eyeing the elusive 24th that would take her level with Margaret Court's record haul.

Williams last won a slam in 2017 at Melbourne Park, since when she has lost two Wimbledon finals and two US Open title matches.

In an Instagram video posted by her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, Williams is shown throwing full-blooded shots into a punch bag being held in place by Tyson.

Mouratoglou captioned the video: "Hit that punching bag like you wanna hit the ball!"

Tyson, bald and grey-bearded now at the age of 53, shows Williams how to direct her punches and throws some of his own at the bag, with a smiling Mouratoglou watching on.

The video drew a response from Hollywood actor Hilary Swank, who trained for a week in June at Mouratoglou's academy in France.

Williams and Tyson teamed up in Florida, where Mouratoglou has assembled a pre-season camp.

Tyson's tennis-playing daughter Milan has been part of the camp, as has 15-year-old Coco Gauff, who starred at Wimbledon and the US Open before winning her maiden WTA title at Linz in October.

"Wish I were there!!!!" Swank said.

Mouratoglou responded: "You were invited, just to say..."

Williams will begin her 2020 season at the Auckland Open, with the WTA event running from January 6 to 12. The Australian Open begins on January 20.

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