George Foreman has admitted that Mike Tyson’s return to the boxing ring alongside Roy Jones Jr is a ‘beautiful thing’ but fears for their wellbeing.
Tyson, 54, announced he is coming out of retirement to fight 51-year-old Jones Jr in an eight-round exhibition fight after teasing fans for months over a potential comeback.
Despite being excited for the bout, Foreman revealed that he is worried for both fighters’ health ahead of the September 12 showdown in Los Angeles.
He told TMZ: ‘There’s a time when you gotta worry about your health, but it’s a beautiful thing that they would even come out,’ George says.
‘Maybe they can even name a charity or something for the recipient of the funds. I think it’s good to come out but it’s gotta be a fun thing, but I hope one does not hit the other.’
The fight will be Tyson’s first in 15 years while Jones Jr fought as recently as 2018.
Foreman, who had 81 professional fights in his career and faced greats like Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, said he would warn both fighters of the potential risks and how dangerous the lasting effects could be.
“I would just tell them it’s really dangerous but when you make up your mind to do something like that, you can’t tell them ‘don’t do it.
“They’re not gonna hear that. Even me. Big fool like me, back in the day, I only saw what I wanted to see.”
Despite his cautious attitude towards the event, Foreman did admit that he tried to make a comeback himself during his mid-fifties and didn’t hang up his gloves for good until the age of 48.
“I was 55 years old. I was in shape and everything,’ Foreman said about his aborted comeback.
“(My wife) says “you’re not going to do anything like that,” I said, ‘I’m telling you, you can’t tell me what to do. I can still – I said “don’t you believe in me? Look at me, I can still do it!”
“She said, “George, isn’t that the way you want to leave the sport believing that you can still do it?”. I got closure right there and I walked away and it was death to a fighter to realize you’re never going to fight anymore.’