‘Fittest 55-year-old’ Nigel Benn to make boxing comeback

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From Adam Lanigan
BBC Sport
Nigel Benn was described as the”fittest 55-year-old on planet Earth” as he prepares for a jolt ring return.
The winner has not fought since November 1996 but will resume his profession on 23 November, according to some promoter Mark Peters.
“I would not support Nigel when I did not think he had been fit to ship,” he added.
The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoc) is contrary to the struggle, which is warranted by the rival Irish and British Boxing Authority (Biba).
Benn – whose last fight was a defeat by Irishman Steve Collins 23 years ago – and all Biba’s clinical tests have handed, while there will be a specialist in head injury and also a brain scanner available at ringside on fight night.
40, world champion Sakio Bika, was tipped to be his first opponent.
Peters, his promoter and long-time friend, told BBC Sport the story should be regarded as a positive one, and that even at 55, London-born Benn remains in a state that many guys half his age would envy.
“It’s not like Nigel abandoned the game, wrapped up his gloves and never trained again,” he said. “He has to be the most picky 55-year-old on planet Earth.
“He’s been training two times per day and he will shadow box anywhere.
“I would not encourage Nigel if I did not believe he was fit to box. Nor is he doing this for financial reasons. He’s far from skint – in which he lives, he has just built a enormous property for himself in Australia.
“It is his life and his prerogative to battle.
“From his perspective, this can be closure for him.”
Benn was a part of a generation at the super-middleweight division in the 1990s, his design resulting in big fights with the likes of both Collins and Chris Eubank.
There were efforts to arrange a fight with the two of these two on this occasion, while a strategy was also made to American Roy Jones Jr..
Benn is predicted to confront Cameroon-born Bika, whose last fight was in 2017, and that lost into the Welsh world champion Joe Calzaghe at 2006 on points.
Biba – a rival to the BBBoC – stated that it had been happy to licence the fight, despite Benn’s age.
There’ll also be strict medical protocols since Biba introduced portable scanners to ringside in March 2017 their sanctioned fights at all.
“Nigel Benn is in excellent condition,” explained Biba vice-president Gianluca di Caro. “He’s a magnificent athlete. He isn’t taking any chances and he’s minimising risk.
“All the boxes have been ticked for us. There’ll be increased medical oversight and everything will be in place.”
No application had been made into the BBBofC – the governing body for the game in the UK – regardless of the fight taking place on British soil.
“Nigel Benn hasn’t nominated to get a long, long time,” said Robert Smith, the general secretary of their BBBofC.
“We have not had a formal program for a licence from him but we had a dialogue in the summer and we told him that he was very, very unlikely to receive one.
“It isn’t in the best interests , or for the game.”
One of Benn’s most renowned fights in the peak of his career came from American Gerald McClellan in 1995, together with McClellan suffering life-changing harms.
Injuries at the game are still controversy, with trainer Robert McCracken’s remarks concerning British heavyweight Anthony Joshua regarding concussion in his defeat with Andy Ruiz Jr, recently making headlines.
Brain injury charity, Headway, is uneasy about the idea of a 55-year-old boxing .
“Boxing at any age is an inherently dangerous sport,” stated chief executive Peter McCabe.
“We all know that every setback to the head delivered by a boxer has the potential to cause long-term and serious brain injury or even death”
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