‘Fittest 55-year-old’ Nigel Benn to make boxing comeback
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From Adam Lanigan
Nigel Benn has been described as the”fittest 55-year-old on earth Earth” since he prepares to get a shock ring return.
The ex-world winner hasn’t fought since November 1996 but will restart his livelihood around 23 November, based on his promoter Mark Peters.
“I would not encourage Nigel when I did not believe he had been fit to box,” he further added.
The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoc) is contrary to the struggle, which will be sanctioned by the rival British and Irish Boxing Authority (Biba).
Benn – whose final battle was a defeat by Irishman Steve Collins – has handed Biba’s medical evaluations, while there will be a specialist in head trauma and also a brain scanner accessible at ringside on fight night.
40, world champion Sakio Bika, has been tipped to be his first opponent.
Petershis promoter and friend, told BBC Sport the story should be seen as a one, and that even at 55, London-born Benn is in a condition that many men half his age would envy.
“It’s not like Nigel abandoned the sport, hung up his gloves rather than trained again,” he explained. “He has to be the most picky 55-year-old on planet Earth.
“He’s been training twice a day and he’ll shadow box anywhere.
“I would not encourage Nigel if I did not think he had been fit to box. Nor is he doing so for financial reasons. He’s away from skint – where he resides, he has built a gigantic 10-bedroom land for himself in Australia.
“It is his life and his prerogative to combat.
“From his point of view, this can be closing for him.”
Benn was part of a generation from the branch in the 1990s, his style leading to big fights with the likes of Collins and Chris Eubank.
There were efforts to arrange a struggle with the two of these two on this occasion, while a strategy was made to American Roy Jones Jr..
Rather, Benn is expected to face Cameroon-born Bika, whose last fight was in 2017, and who lost to this Welsh world champion Joe Calzaghe at 2006.
Biba – a rival into the BBBoC launched in 2016 – said it had been pleased to licence the struggle, despite Benn’s era.
There will also be medical protocols as Biba introduced mobile scanners to ringside at all their sanctioned fights in March 2017.
“Nigel Benn is in amazing condition,” explained Biba vice-president Gianluca di Caro. “He is really a magnificent athlete. He is not taking any chances and he is currently minimising risk.
“All the boxes are ticked for us. There’ll be increased medical oversight and that which will be set up.”
No formal application was made – the human body for the game in the UK – despite the struggle taking place in British soil.
“Nigel Benn has not boxed for a long, long time,” said Robert Smith, the general secretary of the BBBofC.
“We have had a formal program for a licence from him we had a conversation in the summer and we told him that he had been very, very unlikely to receive one.
“It isn’t in the best interests , or for the sport.”
One of Benn’s most famous fights at the peak of his career came against American Gerald McClellan in 1995, together with McClellan suffering life-changing injuries.
Injuries at the sport are still controversy, with trainer Robert McCracken’s comments concerning British heavyweight Anthony Joshua seeing concussion within his defeat with Andy Ruiz Jr, lately making headlines.
Brain trauma charity, Headway, is uneasy about the notion of a 55-year-old boxing competitively.
“Boxing at any point is an inherently dangerous game,” stated chief executive Peter McCabe.
“We all know that each and every setback to the head delivered by a boxer has got the capacity to cause long-term and serious brain injury or even death.”
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