British boxing icon Ricky Hatton is full of admiration for former undisputed world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson but admits he is concerned about Iron Mike’s ring return against fellow legend Roy Jones at the weekend.
Having whipped himself into age-defying shape, Tyson, 54, faces four-weight champion Jones, 51, in a high-profile exhibition bout at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday with no-one quite sure what to expect when the first bell rings.
After a crushing, two-round defeat to Manny Pacquiao in 2009, Hatton mounted a comeback three-and-a-half years later against Vyacheslav Senchenko falling in nine rounds and the Mancunian knows better than most the pitfalls of returning to the ring when age has taken its toll.
“I do worry for him because I am proud of him but on the other side I’m thinking ‘don’t do it Mike’ and I think I’m more towards the latter because of his age,” Hatton told The Daily Mail.
“One of the sayings of boxing who are making a comeback is it doesn’t matter how old you get, you never lose your punch. There’s never one truer saying.
“But I’ll tell you what you do fucking lose as you get older – your resistance. More damage can be done once you’ve copped one. You lose your mobility, your agility to get out of the way of the punch.
“If we say the art of boxing is to hit and not get hit, there’s more of a chance getting hit the older you get.”