In this week’s Fight Talk we look at heavyweights who just won’t let a rivalry die, and reveal how a fight between Mike Tyson and Tyson Fury might not be total fantasy. There’s also an American middleweight facing some heat and news on how Floyd Mayweather’s work as a trainer is causing a rift in Las Vegas.
Picking fantasy fights between greats from any era has proven a popular way to pass time for fans during the boxing shutdown, but perhaps a one-off meeting between Tyson Fury and Mike Tyson actually has legs.
Things are getting a bit weird, aren’t they?
Fury, who was named after ‘Iron Mike’, has spoken about moves being made by Tyson and Evander Holyfield to return to the sport in bouts that can raise money for good causes.
“I had a phone call saying ‘would you like to fight Mike Tyson in an exhibition fight?'” Fury told BT Sport.
“I said ‘hell yeah’, but I don’t think anything’s materialised out of it.
“I wouldn’t try to kill anybody’s dreams of doing anything they want. If they’re both medically fit to fight then let them do what they’ve got to do.”
Holyfield has been posting the kind of motivational training videos that belong in a Rocky movie and former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko has even turned out.
So if Klitschko says age is just a number for 57-year-old Holyfield, then Tyson’s return to the ring must be a cakewalk given he is only 53.
“If he’s back in the ring, I would love to see it,” unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua told British GQ. “I’d definitely be one of the viewers, that’s for sure.”
Others, including British fighter Shannon Courtenay, are not so keen.
If nothing else, Tyson’s work has sparked an admirable body transformation. Those Joe Wicks workouts are clearly beginning to show.
‘Del Boy’ answers Russian call
As Britain turned its attention towards Monday’s statement from Dominic Cummings – the key adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson who drove 250 miles or so to self-isolate – one promoter felt those screening the event could have made some money.
One of the first pay-per-view shows the country could see when boxing does resume will likely be Dillian Whyte’s heavyweight bout with Russia’s Alexander Povetkin.
In unpatriotic but typical boxing style, Whyte’s rival Dereck Chisora could not resist the chance to plot against the man who has beaten him twice in recent years.
“I’ve already said to Povetkin that, if he needs me, I’ll come and help him. I’ll fly to Russia,” Chisora told Sky Sports.
“He said that he’d get me a private jet to come. Povetkin is my boy.”
Sparring, bullying and name calling
While British boxers wait to be allowed to spar again, a few have turned on unbeaten American middleweight Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams.
The 24-year-old posted footage of him hammering a sparring partner, prompting an angry reaction from Britain’s Billy Joe Saunders.
“That poor man clearly can’t hold his hands up properly. When I’m in US I’ll move you around and we will see what happens then,” Saunders wrote on Twitter.
At first, Williams responded by stating he could see why the footage may be “frowned upon”.
But the Texas-based fighter quickly hit back at Saunders and then shared screen shots of conversations with British light-middleweight Anthony Fowler which include him calling the Liverpudlian a “washed up bum”. That was one of the more tame references by the way.
Floyd causes rift with the pads
Slightly less controversial gym work has seen Floyd Mayweather draw praise for the functional pad drills he has been doing with 21-year-old world lightweight champion Devin Haney.
Not everyone was in awe of the methods though. Gervonta Davis – who also holds a portion of a world lightweight title and who Mayweather has helped guide in the past – has apparently scrapped his Vegas camp as a result of the Floyd-Haney union.
So you can’t please everyone. We would tell Floyd he “can’t win them all” but at 50-0, he may disagree.
Fury earns unanimous birthday win
Tommy Fury pulled out the stops for the 21st birthday of partner Molly-Mae Hague.
The British light-heavyweight not only bought a puppy for his fellow Love Island star but somehow managed to get the young pup to write a note.
“Mummy, I can’t wait to meet you in a few days, until then have the best birthday and I’m sure daddy will be spoiling you rotten,” the note read.
That is one talented dog.
A stinker with no fans anyone?
And finally in boxing’s world of brash talk, Billy Joe Saunders offered a touch of humility in his chase of a shot at Mexican belt collector and darling of Las Vegas Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Rarely has a fighter used his inability to fill a venue as a potential plus point. The joke was kind of lost on Saunders’ British rival Chris Eubank Jr though.
“He doesn’t deserve the fight and if he gets the fight he is going to lose,” Eubank Jr told IFL TV. “Saunders will go in there to survive, dance around the ring and stink the place out. No-one wants to see that.”
Given we’ve waited since March for some UK boxing and have resorted to an obsession with the return of heavyweights in their fifties a stinker of a bout might do quite nicely.