Tyson fans are used to seeing the 51-year-old raining in shots while looking in rude health on his social media platforms, and the hugely popular pugilist has now invited fellow stars to follow in his footsteps in a move that he hopes will “bring back legends of all sports.”
Smashing a punchbag in a gym, Tyson revealed that he was looking to guide athletes from all disciplines towards the kind of comebacks that middle-aged boxing greats Evander Holyfield and Roy Jones Jr are also thought to be targeting in the near future.
“It’s a league not only for fighters to perform,” he said, introducing his Legends Only League.
“We’re talking about baseball players, basketball players, soccer players, all kinds of leagues.
“Society says they’re too old, they’re over the hill, but they still have it in them. Come with us, get your agents, get your managers, come to get with me.
“You’ll be living your glory years for a second time. We’re polishing old stars and making them shine again.”
The alliance between Tyson and the Eros Innovations group promises to offer “full support and infrastructure to the world’s greatest athletes”, potentially seizing upon the temptation among stars who once reached the pinnacles of their sports to return for attempted swansongs.
Floyd Mayweather made arguably the most successful boxing comeback of all time when he came out of retirement for a third time to beat then-UFC champion Conor McGregor in 2017, earning an estimated $275 million for his knockout victory.
The five-weight champion was 40 at the time, making him a comparative youngster to Tyson, who has been warned against a comeback and told to concentrate on enjoying his retirement by the likes of UFC president Dana White and current heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte.
Former boxing champions Ricky Hatton and David Haye – both of whom made unsuccessful comebacks in their 30s – have also spoken out about the potential dangers of a return.
The man known as the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ returned twice at the age of 38, first re-emerging when he was knocked out by journeyman Danny Williams in 2004 after almost 18 months out of the ring.
He then retired midway through a scrap with Kevin McBride almost a year later in what has proved to be the final fight of his career so far, despite frequent talk of a lucrative return.
Current heavyweight champion Tyson Fury claimed his namesake had wanted $500 million to fight him, and the veteran has also reportedly been offered $20 million to compete in bare-knuckle fighting.