It’s seemingly never-ending. Every other day or so, a big-name former world champion boxer adds his name to the growing list of veteran fighters wanting to launch a ring return.
We can now add the name Rafael Ruelas to the list, the former IBF lightweight champ having applied for his license and hoping to get trainer Joe Goossen on board.
Now aged 49, Ruelas says he wants a real fight, not an exhibition. It will be interesting to see whether or not Goossen will agree to assist Ruelas on the comeback road.
This is not an April Fool’s day joke (although earlier today, British heavyweight legend Frank Bruno managed to trick a number of fans into believing his “announcement” of a £2 million offer to fight Mike Tyson in a third fight!).
So what is it with all these great fighters and former world champions from years back, some from decades back, wanting to box again all this time later? Lennox Lewis always said that boxing was “like a drug” and that the sport places a grip on fighters. Never have Lewis’ words rung so true.
The news that De La Hoya, at age 48, is to return to action, possibly against an MMA guy, this summer has generated plenty of fan attention.
Some fans are all for it, while many others wish Oscar would stay where he is – retired from the ring, working as a successful promoter.
As for Ruelas, 53-4(41), this writer messaged him today, and the former champ was kind enough to confirm that he is indeed aiming to fight again.
Last boxing back in 1999, Ruelas is probably best known for his big 135-pound unification showdown with De La Hoya, where Ruelas was stopped in two rounds by a hugely impressive version of “The Golden Boy.”
Now, with both men pushing the age of 50, there is the very real chance that we will see them both back in action here in 2021. Is this a good thing, or is this a very bad thing?
Right now, fight fans are taking bets and wondering just who will announce a comeback next. Who of the following might we see announce how they’re back:
Bernard Hopkins? One more for “The Alien?” B-Hop was never happy at having gone out a loser against Joe Smith Jr in late 2016. “The Executioner” is 56 years of age.
Kelly Pavlik? Pavlik is only 38 years old, and the bug that seems to be so contagious might just overcome “The Ghost.”
Evander Holyfield? If “The Real Deal” can’t get that exhibition bout he so badly wants with Mike Tyson, maybe the only four-time heavyweight king will feel he doesn’t want to waste the great work he did in training for the gig and look for another fight.
Lennox Lewis? Would the man who exited the sport on top, on his own terms, be lured back himself? Lennox is now aged 55.
Felix Trinidad? “Tito” might want a piece of the De La Hoya action. Trinidad is the same age as Oscar at 48.
Wladimir Klitschko? Klitschko has teased us about the possibility of a return to the ring, and maybe there is still time, Wladimir having recently turned 45.
Right now, the way things are, no boxing comeback can be ruled out completely.