Mike Tyson Comeback 'Irresponsible' Says Boxing Promoter Eddie Hearn

Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has suggested it would be "irresponsible" to allow Mike Tyson back into the ring, although he admitted it would be intriguing to see the former heavyweight champion of the world in action.

Tyson sent shockwaves across the boxing world earlier this week when he declared "I'm back" in a short clip posted on Instagram which showed him ferociously working out with one of his trainers.

In the video, the 53-year-old hits the pads at a devastating speed and looked in incredibly good shape for a man seven years short of his 60th birthday.

"I would probably like to see it but I feel, is it a bit irresponsible to let a 53-year-old legend back in the ring?" Hearn was quoted as saying by British Boxing Television.

Tyson hasn't fought professionally in 15 years after retiring in the sixth round of his 10-round bout against Kevin McBride. He last won a fight in 2003, when he knocked out Clifford Etienne less than 50 seconds into the first round of their bout.

The former undisputed world heavyweight champion briefly returned to the ring with an exhibition tour in 2006 and has previously admitted he was pondering a return to the ring in a non-professional environment.

Hearn, however, suggested that even returning to the ring for exhibition contests could lead Tyson to tarnish his legacy.

"I had a message from someone saying they wanted to talk to me about Mike," he explained.

"He looks pretty dangerous. What's compelling is could he actually go back in at 53 and do some damage? But should we be encouraging that from an all-time great?

"There's a fine line—and I've crossed it a couple of times—between integrity of the sport and entertainment delivering numbers. Our job is to deliver numbers for broadcasters but we have to keep it as close to the right mark as we can."

Former heavyweight world champion Evander Holyfield, however, sounded a lot more enthusiastic about the prospect of Tyson returning to the ring.

Tyson and Holyfield twice fought for the WBA heavyweight title in the mid-1990s. Holyfield stopped "Iron Mike" in 11 rounds in at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in November 1996, before Tyson was disqualified for biting off part of his rival's ear in the rematch in June 1997.

Like Tyson, Holyfield has indicated he would return to the ring to raise money for charity and take on his old rival 23 years after their last meeting.

"I don't have anything against Mike personally, the thing is I think it would be good for the sport and even though boxing is a rough sport, we can show people we can come together," Holyfield was quoted as saying by the New York Post.

"If we do this fight it would be great. I can still shoot the jab, I can still shoot the shots, but not like a killing thing, 'I'm going to hurt you, I'm going to show you that I can knock him out.'

"Mike is looking sharp, but I'm in very good condition and shape physically and mentally. And if the money is right, too, then let's get it on.

"I know he's getting offers from all types of people. Since we have both announced a comeback, a fight between me and Mike would definitely be the fight people want to see."

Hearn, however, suggested there was a far more venal reason behind their proposed returns.

"Fighters and legends are seeing other fighters make money for fights they think are insignificant," he explained.

"Tyson isn't thinking about wanting to come back to add to my legacy. He's thinking how much I can get, simple. The answer is quite a lot of money."

Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson performs his one man show "Undisputed Truth" in the Music Box at the Borgata on March 6 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Donald Kravitz/Getty