By: Hans Themistode
Former undisputed heavyweight titlist Mike Tyson has started a new movement so to speak. Despite having his gloves hung up for a decade and a half, the 2011 hall of famer returned to the ring this past November and took on fellow advanced in age hall of famer Roy Jones Jr.
While their contest may have been labeled an exhibition, over 1.3 million fans eagerly bought the pay-per-view event. Following their debatable draw, Tyson announced that he would be launching a legends only league. In essence older, legendary fighters who have walked away from the sport of boxing would be given a platform to return to the ring.
Former two-division world champion Bernard Hopkins knows a thing or two about fighting at an advanced age. Having fought well into his early 50s, Hopkins retired just five years ago at the age of 51. Since then, the Philadelphia native has mellowed out. However, he would entertain jumping into Tyson’s legends only league. Provided of course, he were able to muster a high level of vitriol for whomever he faced in the ring.
“It would have to be somebody that I don’t like for me to go back on my word,” said Hopkins during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “Since I retired, I like everybody now. When I was boxing I had to have that chip on my shoulder. I don’t know who I would fight.”
While Hopkins openly admits that he has softened considerably, the newly elected hall of famer pauses for a moment to think of whom could he face that would not only be close in age to himself but who would also get his juices pumping once again.
After taking more time to think, a lightbulb seemingly goes off in the 56-year-old Hopkins head.
“Joe Calzaghe, I want my rematch from that split decision. That’s who I want.”
Over a dozen years ago, both Calzaghe and Hopkins met for the first and only time in their respective careers. Despite scoring a first-round knockdown, Hopkins would go on to lose a razor-close split decision. For Calzaghe, he would go on to fight only one more time, scoring a unanimous decision victory over Roy Jones Jr. and preserving his undefeated record through 46 career fights. Hopkins, of course, would continue his career for nearly ten more years.
As for their first encounter, the British native was forced to fight on Hopkins home turf. However, if he were able to drag Calzaghe out of his retirement, Hopkins would be willing to concede the home-court advantage.
“We can do it on his soil, I don’t care.”