Yes, you've heard it right. "Don't miss the comeback of the century," proclaims Ark Promotions' new press release circulating boxing internet websites.
Ark Promotions is the promotional outfit that is bringing back from the dead a matchup between 48-year old former heavyweight champion Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield (43-10-2, 28 KO's) against journeyman 38-year old Sherman "Tank" Williams (34-11-2, 19 KO's) taking place this coming Saturday night, Jan. 22, on pay-per view.
This bout between the two over-the-hill fighters had previously been scheduled and canceled three times in Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, Nov. 5 and 12 and Dec 9. Low ticket sales and not having a TV contract were the major factors in the cancellations.
Now all that is behind us with a per-per view contract and a catchy slogan (from Don King's playbook): "Redemption In America: The Journey Begins Now" for Holyfield, according to Ark Promotions.
Ticket sales aren't a problem anymore, either, as Ark Promotions proclaims in their press release that "Due to overwhelming demand, a limited number of additional Standard Packages have been made available."
A hotel fight weekend combination at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, starting at $1,150 a pop "based on double occupancy". Oh, I forget to mention that there are single event tickets if you are not interested in spending the night going for only $500, mentions Ark Promotions in the press release. Yes, only $500, not $50. The $500 figure is not a miss print.
If the fight is not canceled again and actually takes place this Saturday night, and if Holyfield wins, his "Comeback Of The Century" senior tour will continue. His next opponent in Denmark March 5 will be 45-plus-year-old veteran Brian Nielsen, who hasn't fought since 2002.
If that fight takes place and Holyfield wins again, the "Comeback Of The Century" tour will really make some noise, as WBC President Jose Sulaiman has agreed verbally that Holyfield would fight Vitali Klitschko for the WBC Heavyweight championship.
Holyfield claims that he will not stop fighting "until he is undisputed heavyweight champion of the world".
Then afterwards, if Holyfield defeats Vitali, he could probably make his first defense against other recent senior tour entrants Ray Mercer and Tommy Morrison, who have scheduled separate bouts Feb. 25th in Montreal, Canada. There is word out there that Bert Cooper may also be making a return.
All kidding aside, this situation must be addressed. There is nothing wrong with trying to make a living at any age; I would just hope that some authority or the Boxing Promoters Association, which met January 10th, and Oscar De La Hoya, who is scheduled to meet with Senator John McCain, would address this issue that is hurting the sport.
I feel boxers should have some type of pension or savings/investing plan so they don't have to be fighting in their forties. Boxing associations should also adopt a mandatory retirement age of forty. Amateur boxing has a retirement age of 34.
I personally feel sad for boxers past their prime trying to make a living and promoters hyping their fights.
How do you feel ?