In addition to the pending return of MLB, NBA and NHL action, it appears sports fans will have even more to look forward to this summer, as boxing legend Mike Tyson has reportedly agreed to fight Roy Jones Jr. on Sept. 12 in an 8-round exhibition that will be broadcast on Pay-Per-View and the social media platform Triller.
Tyson, who celebrated his 54th birthday in June, posted multiple training videos on his Instagram page two months ago, declaring “I’m back,” at the end of the clip.
“It may not be over yet,” Tyson said in a Facebook Livestream in early May. “Anything’s possible. I feel unstoppable now. The gods of war have reawakened me, ignited my ego and want me to go to war again. I feel like I’m [young] again.”
Tyson hasn’t fought professionally since 2005 when he was embarrassed in a loss to journeyman Kevin McBride.
Fellow legend Roy Jones Jr., 51, said earlier this week that he would be open to returning to the ring for an exhibition fight with Tyson.
“I had no intention of going back and fighting again, but, for the sake of Mike Tyson, I agree to make an exception,” Jones told Sports.Ru. “For me, this is an opportunity that I cannot refuse.
According to YahooSports boxing reporter Kevin Iole, Tyson and Jones won’t wear headgear but will use each bigger gloves, perhaps 12 ounces, in their exhibition bout that will take place at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Widely considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout, 12 of them in the first round. In November of 1986, 20-year-old Iron Mike beat Trevor Berbick to become the youngest world champion in boxing history. He held the belt until 1990, when he lost to underdog Buster Douglas, in what many pundits view as one of the most shocking upsets in the annals of sports. In 1992, Tyson was convicted of rape and sentenced to six years in prison. He was released on parole after serving three years. Tyson has been hinting at a comeback for months. “I’ve been working out, I’ve been trying to get in the ring, I think I’m going to box some exhibitions and get in shape,” Tyson told rapper T.I. during an Instagram Live session in early May. “I want to go to the gym and get in shape to be able to box three or four-round exhibitions for some charities and stuff.” The buzz and excitement on social media were immediate. “Can’t believe, this is another level,” UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov said after seeing the video. Per Iole’s report, Andy Foster, the executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, confirmed that Tyson has put a hold on the Sept. 12 date and that he met with Tyson and Jones via Zoom recently.
$685 million: That’s Tyson’s career earnings, according to Forbes data. Iron Mike earned approximately $400 million in the ring (not adjusted for inflation) during his career but was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2003 due to excessively reckless spending.
UFC president Dana White has said he does not want to see the aging Tyson re-enter the ring, even if it’s an exhibition fight. “I love Mike Tyson, I’m begging him not to go fight,” White said during a podcast appearance back in May. “I said, ‘you look awesome, you’re still explosive, you’re obviously still powerful, you’re one of the all-time greats.’ … If it comes down to where he is about to do something crazy, I might have to jump in and figure out something for him not to do it.”