The boxing exhibition trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. On top of the possibility of seeing a return bout between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson, under exhibition rules of course, comes talk from Roy Jones of the possibility of him going in with, get this – Joe Calzaghe, Thomas Hearns and Shannon Briggs! 52-year-old Jones, who of course boxed Tyson in last year’s huge hit of an exhibition (to the tune of approx 1.5 million PPV buys), spoke with Sky Sports and he said a number of fellow greats are interested in fighting him.
“It depends,” Jones said regarding if he will box again. “Glenn McCrory wants me to fight him. I was told the other day that Joe Calzaghe is thinking about coming back and wants me to fight him. Then Tommy Hearns wants to do a five-round fight! Then Shannon Briggs. They all want to beat up poor old Roy. Why? I don’t know why. I don’t have anything to prove but I still love boxing.”
As far as having nothing to prove, Hearns has absolutely nothing to prove, nor does Calzaghe have anything at all to prove. Both men carved out truly great careers, Hearns especially. Calzaghe, on paper, is young enough to come back and box an exhibition; Calzaghe being “only” 49. But Hearns is 62 years of age. Calzaghe did of course soundly beat Jones in his career finale, this back in 2008. Calzaghe went out a perfect 46-0 and it would be a real surprise if he did come back, if for an exhibition only.
But if Hearns came back, well, that would be a real stunner. Hearns did launch a short comeback in 2005, winning a fight that year and one the following year, this at age 47. “The Hitman” always had real trouble saying goodbye to the sport he loves with all his heart. Back in 2015, on the 30th anniversary of his epic war with Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Hearns was kind enough to speak with this writer, and even then the living legend was seriously hoping to lure Hagler back for a five-round fight.
“The world would go crazy for a five-round fight between me and Marvin,” Hearns said back then. “They would pay big money to see just a five-round fight between me and Hagler. It would have to be five rounds because I don’t think either of us could go 12 rounds today! I tell Marvin all the time, ‘let’s do it again.’”
Hearns was dead serious. Maybe even now, at age 62, he is dead serious about wanting to box Jones in an exhibition. But would the world “go crazy” for such an event? A prime Vs. prime fight between Hearns and Jones really is something to imagine. Today, however, Hearns (and Jones come to that) should be safe and content in retirement.
Just how many more crazy exhibitions will we see get made before the fad fades away?