London (AFP) – Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has questioned whether a return to the ring for Mike Tyson at 53 would be ethical.
A video posted on Tyson’s Instagram this week showed the former world heavyweight champion in training and he has said he could make a comeback for charity exhibition bouts.
Hearn admitted he had been approached about promoting a fight for Tyson, but is concerned about the responsibility of making money from ageing fighters.
“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.
“What’s compelling is could he actually go back in at 53 and do some damage. 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. Our job is to deliver numbers for broadcasters but we have to keep it as close to the right mark as we can.”
Another former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield has announced he will make a ring comeback for charity at 57, hoping to help first responders and children combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Hearn believes former boxers are seeing the chance for a final pay day with Holyfield and Tyson not the only retired fighters considering a comeback.
“Fighters and legends are seeing other fighters make money for fights they think are insignificant,” he added.
“Tyson isn’t thinking about wanting to come back to add to my legacy. He’s thinking how much I can get, simple. The answer is quite a lot of money.”