Get ready for what might just go down as the oddest, the most almost unbelievable, the craziest summer in the history of boxing. So far this year, we have confirmed for the summer months (traditionally a slow time for the sport of boxing):
Evander Holyfield vs Kevin Mcbride (apparently not an exhibition bout but a “real” fight)
Oscar De La Hoya’s ring return (possibly against an MMA fighter, but under boxing rules)
Juan Manuel Marquez vs Miguel Cotto (an exhibition bout with no head-gear)
Marco Antonio Barrera vs Erik Morales IV (also an exhibition bout, further details to come)
Mike Tyson’s next bout (yet another exhibition bout).
And on top of that lot, we could get a ring return from Marcos Maidana. Oh, and Manny Pacquiao might wind up fighting Terence Crawford.
Nostalgia sure is king. Holyfield is 58. Tyson will turn 55 in June. De La Hoya is 48. Marquez and Cotto are well into their forties. Pacquiao is 42. Maidana is 37. So are we fight fans starved of, and starving for, STARS? Its never been this crazy. Just about any big name former champ you can think of seems to want to return to the spotlight. Roy Jones will box again this year, in some capacity.
Even Lennox Lewis has expressed an interest in coming back for an exhibition bout. Where will it end!
Aside from the very real fear of one of the above-mentioned stars of yesteryear getting hurt – Pacquiao, as amazing as he is, included – there is the risk of embarrassment: to the ageing fighters and to the sport itself.
Why, for instance, is Oscar coming back? The former champ at many weights is financially sound, he has his promotional duties to keep him both busy and involved in the sport he loves. What good can possibly come of his ring return?
Exhibition bouts for charity are all well and good, but this aside, can you think of anything of a positive note that can be attached to these, shall we say, crazy comebacks?
As for the biggest heavyweight fight of the year, perhaps for many years, it looks as though the Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua unification clash – this a fight between the first-ever British duo to hold between them all the belts – will go down not in the UK, not in Las Vegas, not in New York – but in Saudi Arabia.
Yeah, one crazy summer is what we all have to look forward to here in 2021.