Teddy Atlas has echoed the thoughts of fans on the recent announcement of an exhibition that sees the competitors enter the ring with a combined age of 114.
Exhibitions are nothing new in the sport, with Floyd Mayweather leading the modern charge for the money-churning events but the likes of Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr partaking, too.
There’s always an air of danger that the bouts sway from a celebration of the sport – see Ricky Hatton and Marco Antonio Barrera – to something a bit more deflating and worrying.
That was the general feeling when it was announced that Donovan ‘Razor’ Ruddock, 59 and best known for twice fighting Mike Tyson in 1991, would face off with James Toney.
Toney was a part of 92 fights in his career, 77 wins, 47 knockouts, ten losses but none coming via stoppage. He gave a lot to the sport, as did Ruddock, who stopped fighting in 2001 but returned 14 years later. He was knocked out in his third fight and hung up the gloves for good.
The pair facing off hasn’t incited any sort of excitement amongst fans, more woe. Speaking on his podcast, Atlas – a renowned trainer turned analyst – said it was ‘sad and dangerous.’
“I saw a promotion for Razor Ruddock, the former heavyweight contender who fought Mike Tyson two times if people out there are old enough to remember because it’s been a while…
He’s fighting James Toney – a tremendous fighter, the former middleweight champion. Ruddock is almost 60 years old. 6-0. He’s 59. Toney is 55. So together they’re 114 years old. It’s both dangerous and I think sad to see. Don’t mark it down on your calendar.
I saw it, I said you know what it’s our job to report all news as we hear it. We miss some – I wish I’d missed that one to be honest.”
The event is set for November 11 in Kingston, Jamaica – Ruddock’s hometown – as part of the Triller Fight Club effort, the same promotion that oversaw Evander Holyfield return and be knocked out immediately by MMA fighter Vitor Belfort.