No Country for Old Fighters

San Francisco, CA | June 6, 2020, 6:39 p.m.

Myke Tyson and Marcos Maidana have taken to social media to show off their renewed skills and improved physiques. Great for them. Staying in shape should be everyone's goal. Especially all those approaching the middle ages.  Making comebacks to prize fighting …no so great.

Comebacks are nothing new to sports.  Many have tried it but few have made much of it. Most do it for financial reasons and few do it because they miss the thrill of stepping back into action. Some of the great boxers in history have done it.  Perhaps the most successful example of all is Foreman’s comeback. At 38 he grabbed the heavyweight belt again by then defeating Michael Moorer. What a memorable night. Another great one, Sugar Ray Leonard had two returns. On his first comeback, he captured the WBC and Ring middle titles against Hagler.; His layoff was only three years though. On his second attempt and after 6 years of inactivity he suffered a bad loss to Macho Camacho. We can list more examples and the list would go on and on.  Let’s focus on the most prominent two this year. 

Tyson, now 53) has gone back to gym, shed some pounds and is showing some of the speed and power that excited the sport decades ago.  Lucky for us, it seems that he’s comeback is for exhibition fights. “I've been working out, I've been trying to get in the ring, I think I'm going to box some exhibitions and get in shape”. He continued “I want to go to the gym and get in shape to be able to box three- or four-round exhibitions for some charities and stuff.”.  Good for Mike.  Doing it for  a good cause and getting back in shape is all well and done.  

On the other hand, Marcos Maidana (36) seems to be serious about getting back into the ring. Not for exhibition bouts but to get into prize fighting. On June 2nd he tweeted "El Rey enfocado en su regreso” (the king focused on his return).  On June 4th, he posted “A mis 36 años estoy en mi mejor momento” (In my best moment, at 36). Financially, he should be fine. He won a big pile of cash from his last two fights against Mayweather back in 2014. Maybe he misses the adulation and thrill of the sport.

If we have learned something from past comebacks is that age matters. Yes, there are success stories but they are the exception. The world of sports is dominated by men and women in the peak of their physical fitness.  Staging a comeback could go very wrong, as it has been for many. Let’s hope Maidana is just doing it to stay in shape or for the likes and shares in social media.

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