Paging Mike Tyson: Veteran Boxing League May Be In The Works


By: Sean Crose

It’s a fact of life – athletes are performing at older ages than they ever have. That still doesn’t mean people should expect former stars who are now in their forties and fifties to perform like it was still the 80s or 90s. With that in mind, Impact Boxing has come up with the idea of VBL – the Veteran Boxing League. “Impact Boxing is a newcomer to the sport,” the company said in a press release, “having joined the boxing world earlier this year and is interested in helping retired fighters continue to earn money to support their families but only if it can be done in a safe manner.”


Some of the rules Impact will apply to VBL fights include:


“· No more than 6 rounds per bout
· 2 minute rounds
· 90 second breaks between rounds instead of the usual 1 minute for professional fights in order to allow proper recovery time and also additional medical supervision from ringside doctors between rounds
· Fighters would use 12 oz. gloves at the heavier weight classes and 10 oz. gloves at the lighter weight classes
· Stringent medical requirements pre-bout to ensure physical fitness to compete in VBL
· All other aspects of the fights to be governed by the ABC rules
· Tournaments may be held with seeding established based on fighter’s prior professional success, alternatively fighters could be ranked in conjunction with an established sanctioning body”


Interest in fighters who are aging and well past their primes is probably as old as the sport itself. Former heavyweight great Mike Tyson’s sudden declared interest in a ring return, however, has generated much attention. “Tyson’s announcement set off a chain reaction,” claims Impact, “as he inspired several other legendary names in the combat sports world to throw their names in the mix. Long time Tyson rival Evander Holyfield, James Toney and MMA legends such as Wanderlei Silva and Tito Ortiz were among the fighters to state their interest in fighting the youngest heavyweight in the history of boxing.”


As a recent entry into the fight game, Impact is eager to make its mark as an entertaining but safety conscious entity. “In similar fashion,” the company says, “to senior leagues in professional golf and tennis, Impact Boxing would only be interested in televising these ‘legends’ fights if strict rules are adhered to for each bout.”

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