Roy Jones Jr., age 51, getting ready for his upcoming exhibition boxing match with some long-retired fighter named Mike Tyson, age 54. Jones was ostensibly discussing the dollars and cents related to the bout’s move from September to November. But he could have easily been addressing another topic: himself.
Well, not himself per se, but this entire bout—this entire phenomenon, really, in a combat sports context. The fight is happening and being pretty heavily covered (raises guilty hand in the air) despite the fact that each man has been on this planet for more than half a century, with a significant amount of said time spent getting hit in the head. But no one seems to think any of this is odd.
What seems to be the reason for these legends to want to comeback after so many years?
The great Oscar De La Hoya, age 47, recently announced his intention to return to boxing. MMA is a party to the action too, with the 43-year-old former UFC champ Fabricio Werdum expressing his desire to run it back with Russian legend and heavyweight GOAT Fedor Emelianenko (also 43—and sorry, Stipe) in the latter’s purported farewell fight.
Putting the two sides together, if it’s all about the money for the fighters and promoters, why wouldn’t fans think the same way? I don’t know about anyone else, and I don’t want to be a buzz kill, but I don’t know whether watching these two certified but fossilized legends of the sport paw at each other for 30 minutes is worth my $49.95 (or whatever the final cost might be) or a monthly subscription fee to a streaming service or both.
I mean, how entertaining could this be? They’re a combined 105 years old. Remember that behind every big name, there’s an actual thing. And I don’t think I can make this thing make sense.