Remember the comedy movie ‘Last Vegas’, starring Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline? It was a story about a group of middle-aged friends visiting Las Vegas in an attempt to relive its glory days.
Well now we have the boxing sequel, or sequels, with characters like Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Julio César Chávez, and Oscar De La Hoya.
Okay, it’s not a new plot. The story of a former champion who returns to the ring for a few extra bucks is one that has developed from the days of Jim Jeffries, more than a century ago, to Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson.
The return of the former champion is not always a sad end to a glorious career. After all, George Foreman’s return to the ring saw him crowned World Heavyweight Champion at age 45, in 1994.
But putting on the gloves after years of inactivity could pose health risks. You can not play boxing like other sports and resume it, simply, without risk of hurting yourself.
All of this has been overlooked by former champions looking for another payday. The ego also plays a role: Like a moth in a bright light, mature boxers continue to be drawn to the ring.
Get ready to recycle movie tapes and relive forgotten rivalries. You will be asked to forget conscience and fork out a Pay Per Show fee to see what could even be described as a circus act. Some may be competitive, some may not, but we know one thing: people will see it.
There will be many unique matchups with these retired boxers. And here is a ranking of these events based on the interest they can generate.
1.- Mike Tyson (54) vs. Evander Holyfield (58), III
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With a combined age of 112, these two old Heavyweight foes will generate the most interest if they meet in a third fight.
Tyson took the term “hungry boxer” to a new level in 1997, when part of Holyfield’s ear was ripped off and he was disqualified in a world title fight, known as the ‘Bite Fight’, in Las Vegas.
The pair revived their rivalry in a hilarious TV commercial years after Tyson had ‘eaten’ Holyfield’s ear, but many fans didn’t think the announcement of their trilogy fight was a laughing matter.
After losing to Holyfield in 1996 and 1997, the focus will turn to Tyson adjusting the slate. Tyson ended 15 years of inactivity with an eight-round exhibition fight against Roy Jones Jr., in November, and if that was marketable, then Tyson-Holyfield III will be, too.
2.- Julio César Chávez (58) vs. Hector Camacho Jr. (42)
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This is another unusual matter. This will all be about Camacho Jr. trying to beat a rival 16 years older than him who once beat his father. The great Mexican, Chávez, outpointed Héctor ‘Macho’ Camacho (who died in 2012) for the junior welterweight world title in 1992, in Las Vegas, and his last fight in 2005, when he was past his prime. , is a distant memory.
Camacho Jr., who made his last comeback in 2019, never accomplished anything like what Chávez did, but just hopes he takes it easy on the 58-year-old, who was involved in some of the biggest fights of the decade. In the 1990s, he won world titles in three weight classes and is considered a legend in his home, Mexico.
3.- Marco Antonio Barrera (47) vs. Erik Morales (44), IV
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Scheduled for July 16, this fight could attract some boxing fans interested in nostalgia, as these two Mexicans starred in three off-the-wall fights between 2000 and 2004.
Don’t expect the same intensity or animosity from one for the other this time around, though, and they won’t fight anywhere near the Junior Lightweight limit where they last met. Barrera, who outscores Morales 2-1 after the trilogy, hasn’t fought for 10 years. Morales has been inactive for nine years and they won’t throw punches at the rate they did 20 years ago.
Do we really need a fourth installment 17 years after the last one?
4.- Miguel Cotto (40) vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (47)
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Cotto has only been out of action for just over three years, and if he’s still in shape, you should be concerned about Marquez, who is seven years older and has been inactive for seven years as well.
Manny Pacquiao could be 42 years old and until recently still a world title, but Cotto will not seriously return to the sport with this exhibition fight booked for June 12 in Miami.
Cotto was involved in some brutal fights throughout his career, and it would be better if these two former champions in four weight classes used pillows instead of gloves to punch each other.
5.- Anderson Silva (45) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (35)
Chavez Jr.’s boxing career fell apart and he did not deliver on what once seemed promising, but he remains a recent elite-level competitor. This makes it a dangerous foray into boxing for former UFC champion Silva, who will also have to deal with being a decade older than his opponent in a 10-round boxing match on June 19 at the Jalisco Stadium in Mexico.
This will be Silva’s third professional boxing match after a TKO loss in 1998 and a second-round TKO victory in 2005. That was a long time ago, and there is little evidence that he has a boxing career. .
After one of the best careers in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) history, Silva ended his UFC career on a losing streak. Chávez Jr. has also lost three of his last five bouts, so is there really any demand to see this type of fight?
This is as crazy a showdown as the other on the card between Chávez’s 58-year-old father and the son of one of his former rivals.
6.- Oscar De La Hoya (48) vs. rival to be defined
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There is still no opponent for De La Hoya in a July 3 exhibition fight and let’s hope he stays that way. The ‘Golden Boy’ should stay on the safe side of the ropes instead of continuing his vainglorious mission of boxing again.
De La Hoya, a wonderfully entertaining boxer in his prime, who has had a successful career as a promoter since his last fight in 2008, has returned to talking about boxing on and off in recent years, but what for? You don’t need the money.
This shows how much a boxer can miss his previous life, so much so that De La Hoya is willing and ready to expose himself to scrutiny and criticism with this adventure.
7- Steve Cunningham (44) vs. Frank Mir (41)
Cunningham’s last fight was less than four years ago. He was a world title challenger in 2016 and shouldn’t be too bothered by Mir, who faces an extremely tough opponent in his professional boxing debut. Mir, a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, is going up against a former Cruiserweight World Champion, and we know how boxing matches go against the UFC (remember Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor?).