Former heavyweight champion George Foreman has some legitimate concerns regarding the recently announced exhibition fight that will pit Roy Jones Jr. against Mike Tyson. Both superstars and widely regarded the best in the sport when they were at their best, the former champions are both over 50 years old and have not fought professionally for several years.
The idea that injury could play a part in the match is something he worries could have permanent damage.
“There’s a time when you gotta worry about your health, but it’s a beautiful thing that they would even come out,” Foreman told TMZ Sports. “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 hurt the other.”
Tyson, who has made headlines with several impressive workouts over the past few months, feels he is capable of turning in a good performance, despite his age.
“It’s because I can do it. And I believe other people believe they can do it too,” he told ESPN during a recent interview. “Just because we are 54, it doesn’t mean that we have to start a new career and our lives are totally over. Not when you feel as beautiful as I do, and I’m sure that other people feel the same way.”
Foreman, 71, knows all too well what it is like to fight up in age. He won the title against Michael Moore at age 45 and fought professionally until the age of 48. Subsequent to another retirement, he considered another comeback at the ripe old age of 55.
“I was in shape and everything. [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 gonna fight anymore.”
Tyson, 54, and Jones, 51, are slated to fight on Sept. 12 in California.
Check out Foreman’s full interview after the jump.