There seems little to no chance it would be permitted to happen, not in an officially sanctioned fight anyway, but former three-weight champ Iran Barkley says he is to launch a comeback – “probably at cruiserweight, maybe at heavyweight” – in the near future. “The Blade’s” current age? 58.
The former ruler at 160/168 and 175 pounds last boxed in 1999, when he was stopped by Keith McKnight up at heavyweight (officially this was his last fight, but Barkley may have had a white collar fight that flew largely under the radar) and the Bronx warrior has had well-documented problems with his sight since back in 1990. But Barkley says he has been training and that it’s not a matter of “if” he returns, but “when.”
Speaking with Go For It Radio, Barkley, 43-19-1(27) said he is coming back, in large part because “these guys, they aren’t really fighting.”
“I’m looking at these guys and they aren’t really fighting but they’re getting paid all that money; money that I could have had, should have had,” Barkley told the radio show. “I’ve got all my faculties, my doctor’s said I’m healthy and everything, so the fat lady said, go get ’em. I know what I can do. I know what I want to do, and God is letting me know what I want to do. Things didn’t happen the way they should have happened, but now it’s gonna happen.”
Barkley insists all these years later how he was pretty much ripped off by promoters, Bob Arum especially; that he never got the big money he deserved. That’s a story and a debate all by itself, but what of Barkley’s chances of coming back when two years shy of age 60? Slim and none? It sure seems so.
Barkley was asked about how he would have done against Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez and Barkley said that he (presumably the prime version, not the current version) would beat Canelo “in a war,” and that he would “definitely flatten” GGG. “He couldn’t match up to me,” Barkley said of the current world middleweight king.
The peak Barkley – who engaged in some cracking battles with legends Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran – would have made an interesting, and formidable, foe for either Canelo or Triple-G, but even this version of “The Blade” would have had his hands full in a major, major way.
Today, Iran, a good guy of the sport who is fondly remembered for adding some real drama and excitement, should be content with all that he did achieve. For his own safety, Barkley must not be permitted to fight again.