Rocky Balboa move could come with serious repercussions for Nigel Benn

Former two-division world titleholder Nigel “Dark Destroyer” Benn will end a 23-year hiatus from boxing when he returns to the ring to take on former world titlist Sakio Bika on November 23 in at Resorts World Arena in Birmingham.

The last time Benn was in a boxing ring, he was left broken both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Back-to-back knockout losses to world champion Steve Collins had convinced Benn that his body could no longer take any more punishment.

For the past 23 years, Benn has looked back at his boxing career with some regret.

He had a chance to close out his career with a victory. There was talk about Benn retiring before his split decision loss to Thulani Malinga in March 1996, the fight before his two defeats to Collins. Then, Benn went on a desperate chase to get that final victory — it never came.

Bika, 40, is no spring chicken either, but he is 15 years younger than Benn.

Bika (34-7-3, 22 KO’s), an Australia-based Cameroonian, a former 168-pound world champion, has not fought since scoring a 12-round unanimous decision over Geard Ajetovic.

Bika, unlike Benn, has never been knocked out or stopped, and even went the distance against former light heavyweight titlist Adonis Stevenson in April 2015.

Many fighters can attest what a feat it is to go the distance with Stevenson. Of his victories, Stevenson finished a respectable 83 percent of his opponents inside the distance.

This is not a movie, or a glorified sparring session — it’s a real fight; with a potential of real harm being done to Benn.

We all saw former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell make an ill-advised comeback a year ago at the age of 48. He looked horrible and Tito Ortiz needed just 36 seconds to send him back into retirement.

Keep in mind, Liddell was out of the sport for eight years.

What Benn is trying to accomplish is closer to insane than remarkable.

However, if Benn is victorious on Nov. 23, it could be one of the greatest moments in the history of sports. However, if it ends like many expect, it could be one of the saddest.

Benn had also floated the idea of a trilogy bout with Collins in 2017. Collins was on board at the time and told reporters that he would do it for the money. Benn simply wanted closure, but the fight never happened.

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