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Seven boxers who came out of retirement and how they fared as Tyson Fury looks to take on Anthony Joshua after Usyk

TYSON FURY ending his retirement to make a boxing comeback appears a case of when not if.

Fury announced he was walking away in April after knocking out Dillian Whyte in front of 94,000 at Wembley.


Tyson Fury retired after beating Dillian WhyteCredit: Jamie McPhilimey

But a return to fight the winner between Anthony Joshua, 32, and Oleksandr Usyk, 35, who rematch in August, looks likely.

And who could blame Fury? With the undisputed heavyweight title and career-high payday awaiting him.

He would certainly not be the first – or last – to swiftly end boxing retirement, as SunSport takes a look at seven repeat cases.

Floyd Mayweather

It is hard to know the exact number of times the American has claimed he would fight no more.

The first was in 2007, when he beat Oscar De La Hoya, but he returned that year to KO Ricky Hatton, only to retire again.

Mayweather then came back in 2009 and six years later at 49-0 announced he would leave the sport. Spoiler alert: I didn’t.

A return to fight UFC superstar Conor McGregor in 2017 followed and again Mayweather tried to convince fans it was the last you would see of him.

Technically, he has not fought professionally since and at 45 probably won’t to protect his 50-0 record. But Mayweather continues to box in exhibitions.

Floyd Mayweather retired professionally after beating Conor McGregor


Floyd Mayweather retired professionally after beating Conor McGregorCredit: Getty
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george foreman

Perhaps the most famous comeback of them all. Foreman initially retired in 1977 at 28 but returned ten years later.

The heavyweight gradually made a tilt towards the title but lost in two attempts.

It was at the third time of asking, he knocked out Michael Moorer to become the oldest heavyweight champion of all time, aged 45.

Foreman would have four more fights before again retiring in 1997 at 48.

George Foreman knocked out Michael Moorer to win the title at 45


George Foreman knocked out Michael Moorer to win the title at 45Credit: AFP


Sugar Ray Leonard

Leonard, one of boxing’s most beloved talents, retired in 1984.

But he made the shock decision to return three years later and move up in weight to challenge the feared Marvin Hagler.

Leonard won a famous but disputed split-decision to defy the odds and win the title after such a layoff.

He would fight five more times before hanging up his gloves in 1997.

Sugar Ray Leonard famously beat Marvin Hagler in 1987


Sugar Ray Leonard famously beat Marvin Hagler in 1987Credit: Getty

Ricky Hatton

Closer to home, Hatton was in 2007 beaten for the first time, by the great Mayweather.

But after two wins on the spin, The Hitman challenged Manny Pacquiao in 2009 but was brutally knocked out.

Hatton retired until three years later returning, only to lose to Vyacheslav Senchenko and walk away again.

His story is still not over though, with the British boxing icon, 43, to return in November for an exhibition with Marco Antonio Barrera.

Ricky Hatton lost his comeback fight against Vyacheslav Senchenko in 2012


Ricky Hatton lost his comeback fight against Vyacheslav Senchenko in 2012Credit: Mark Robinson – The Sun

David Haye

Similarly to Hatton, heavyweight Haye announced a brief retirement in 2011 after defeating Wladimir Klitschko.

But a year later and following a press conference brawl with Derek Chisora, Haye came back and won their grudge match.

Another retirement would follow only for Haye to return in 2016 and have four more fights, losing his last two to Tony Bellew, before calling it quits.

He did box his friend Joe Fournier in a bizarre exhibition last September, challenging Fury afterwards, but nothing has come of it.

David Haye knocked out Derek Chisora ​​in 2012


David Haye knocked out Derek Chisora ​​in 2012Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

Mike Tyson

Talking of exhibitions, Tyson sent the boxing world into a frenzy in 2020 after announcing he would fight again aged 53.

Iron Mike had initially retired in 2005 but returned in an eight-round exhibition with Roy Jones Jr, now 53, which ended a draw.

Tyson even now at 55 continues to be linked with another fight, mainly against YouTuber-turned boxer Jake Paul, 25.

The pair have sensationally agreed to fight THIS YEAR.

Mike Tyson returned to face Roy Jones Jr


Mike Tyson returned to face Roy Jones JrCredit: Reuters

Evander Holyfield

Tyson’s comeback bout with Jones ended with smiles and any real harm was avoided – the same can’t be said for Holyfield.

The boxing legend had not fought since 2011 when he was 48 and went on to announce his retirement three years after that.

But sadly, Holyfield was tempted back into the ring last September at the age of 58 and was shamefully smashed by Vitor Belfort, who was 44.

Thankfully, Holyfield has not boxed since and proved that not all “exhibitions” are a good idea.

Evander Holyfield in his loss to Vitor Belfort


Evander Holyfield in his loss to Vitor BelfortCredit: AFP

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