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Evander Holyfield to return to boxing ring for exhibition fights

The 57-year-old former heavyweight champ hasn’t fought since 2011.

Premiere Of “One Night: Joshua Vs. Ruiz” Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

With his old rival Mike Tyson gearing up to possibly do the same, 57-year-old Evander Holyfield is another legend intent on returning to the boxing ring to do exhibition bouts for charity, announcing the news Wednesday on social media.

“Are you ready? The moment you’ve all been waiting for, the champ is back!” Holyfield wrote.

“I’d like to announce that I will be making a comeback to the ring. I’m training to promote a charity that’s very close to me. Our #Unite4OurFight campaign aims to fill the void the pandemic has created on access to resources our youth needs for emotional development and education.”

Holyfield last fought in 2011, fighting on well past his prime years. His last bout came in Copenhagen, where he stopped Brian Nielsen in the 10th round. Holyfield had made it a mission to top George Foreman’s record as the oldest man to ever win a recognized world heavyweight title, and against the odds came pretty close in 2008 in Zurich, Switzerland, where he lost a controversial decision to seven-footer Nikolay Valuev in a secondary WBA title bout.

The 53-year-old Tyson created quite a stir when he put out video hitting the pads a few days back, and this announcement from Holyfield is perfectly timed to get a bunch of lunatics thinking they might see a third bout between the two legendary heavyweight champs. We shouldn’t, but it may be a bit of a fool’s bet to say flat-out that we won’t. It could certainly be done in an exhibition, but anyone hoping for more than that is asking way too much of a pair of middle aged men, neither of whom are claiming to to have a serious desire to get back into real competition.

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