Over the next few weeks, the sport of boxing will finally resume after a lengthy hiatus caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
While the action in the ring was on hold, there still was plenty going on outside of the ring. Former undisputed heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson was trending after setting the social media world fire after posting a short training video clip.
Whispers of a comeback by Tyson ensued and he fueled the fire more by stating that he would like to comeback to the ring in a series of exhibition bouts to raise money for charity.
Tyson’s announcement set off a chain reaction, as he inspired several other legendary names in the combat sports world to throw their names in the mix. Long time Tyson rival Evander Holyfield, James Toney and MMA legends such as Wanderlei Silva and Tito Ortiz were among the fighters to state their interest in fighting the youngest heavyweight in the history of boxing.
However, the interest in comebacks isn’t limited to only heavyweight fighters. A former Mexican superstar has reached out to Impact Boxing to gauge their interest in potentially televising his comeback fight.
Impact Boxing is a newcomer to the sport, having joined the boxing world earlier this year and is interested in helping retired fighters continue to earn money to support their families but only if it can be done in a safe manner.
In similar fashion to senior leagues in professional golf and tennis, Impact Boxing would only be interested in televising these “legends” fights if strict rules are adhered to for each bout.
Impact Boxing would like to propose the potential creation of a veteran’s league that would allow former ring idols to return against their colleagues with modified rules. These rules are outlined below:
VETERAN BOXING LEAGUE
The Veteran Boxing League (the “VBL”) is a proposed specialty boxing league specifically established for former professional boxers from ages 45-60 years. The VBL would follow traditional boxing weight classes and work with established sanctioning bodies to establish a ranking system and championship structure for each weight class.
The VBL would hold events and mini-tournaments featuring a “who’s who” of retired professional boxers that would allow these retired pros to come out of retirement and recapture their former glory in the ring. The VBL would provide a high level of competition for former fighters in a setting that allows for competition and safety.
VBL Fight Structure:
No more than 6 rounds per bout
2 minute rounds
90 second breaks between rounds instead of the usual 1 minute for professional fights in order to allow proper recovery time and also additional medical supervision from ringside doctors between rounds
Fighters would use 12 oz. gloves at the heavier weight classes and 10 oz. gloves at the lighter weight classes
Stringent medical requirements pre-bout to ensure physical fitness to compete in VBL
All other aspects of the fights to be governed by the ABC rules
Tournaments may be held with seeding established based on fighter’s prior professional success, alternatively fighters could be ranked in conjunction with an established sanctioning body
Steve Marcano of SMM Boxing believes that the VBL will provide a high level of competition for former fighters that still desire to fight in a setting that allows for competition and safety. “This structure will allow retired fighters to compete against each other and avoid mismatches where retired fighters are fighting boxers who are much younger than them, which increases the potential risk of injury and is something that no one wants to see,” he stated.
According to Marcano, Impact is in discussions to hold its first VBL event with the main event featuring 2 boxing hall of famers as soon as regulations preventing fans from attending events are lifted.
“As soon as we are up and running we are expecting to get this new platform off the ground in conjunction with Impact’s regular boxing programming,” Marcano revealed.