Former two-time world heavyweight champion George Foreman believes Mike Tyson could still be a legitimate contender at the age of 53.
Foreman made the comments after a short clip showing Tyson hitting the pads was published to social media last week.
Tyson hasn’t fought since being stopped by Kevin McBride in six rounds 15 years ago.
“I was so happy. He looked like he had turned the clock back at least 20 years,” Foreman told iFL TV.
“He was looking fit and those punches were coming sharp. If he’s able to go into the woods and dedicate himself to that for about 10 months, he could come back and really be a top contender.
Foreman spent a decade out of the ring before mounting an unlikely comeback in 1987 at the age of 38, culminating in a 10th round knockout of Michael Moorer for the WBA and IBF titles in 1994 to become the oldest heavyweight champion of the world.
In his last fight he lost a 12-round majority decision to Shannon Briggs in 1997. He was 48.
“[Doing exhibitions], that’s what they do, that’s the way it happens,” Foreman continued. “I called Dick Sadler, my original trainer back in the 1960s, I’d just won a gold medal, I said I just want to do exhibitions, that’s all, and learn more about boxing. Next thing you know I’m in with the heavyweight champion of the world.
“So it starts off talking about exhibitions, but then it gets bigger and bigger. And Tyson, I would like to see him back in the ring. He’s an older fella, but a record is always waiting to be broke.”
But not everyone is so convinced.
“I don’t care if Mike Tyson is in the gym for the next ten years, he has no chance against any heavyweight,” said British promoter Frank Warren said to Metro.
“I have no idea who would licence him at the age of 53 if it wasn’t an exhibition match. I can’t see any governing body doing that.
He’s in there getting himself fit and well, and that’s brilliant. But in terms of fighting again, give me a break.”
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