Mike Tyson Preps for Fight with Jake Paul on Netflix

March 8, 2024
1 month

Jake Paul got tired of the criticism that he was only boxing MMA fighters who were over the hill. This time, Paul decided to accept a fight with one of the most highly-regarded heavyweight boxing champions ever. Mike Tyson has the credentials and accolades to be Paul’s legitimate boxing opponent.

Other than the fact that “Iron” Mike is 57. Tyson has only fought once since he retired in 2005. He was rumored to be in talks to do a trilogy fight with Evander Holyfield, but the two men couldn’t work out a deal. While Tyson isn’t as powerful as he was during his heyday, videos of him sparring have fans excited to see him get in the ring again.

This bout will likely put more pressure on Paul. While Tyson is one of the greatest boxers of all time, Paul has fought the accusations that his professional boxing career has been a sideshow. Beating Tyson won’t help quiet those critics, but it certainly makes for an intriguing matchup.

Tyson Has Returned Before

Tyson’s boxing career, where he racked up a 50-6 record with 44 knockouts and two no-contests, ended on a sour note in June 2004. Tyson lost to journeyman Kevin McBride in Washington, D.C., following retiring on his stool after the sixth round.

Online boxing news shows Tyson has gotten back in the ring twice since then for exhibition fights, with mostly disastrous results. In 2006, Tyson created Tyson’s World Tour. He needed to pay off his debts to the government and planned to travel the United States and participate in exhibition fights. The only fight on the tour took place in 2006 against Corey Sanders in Youngstown, Ohio.

Tyson appeared to hold back and didn’t push for a knockout. Tyson had built his reputation on early knockouts and ferocious punching power. Seeing Tyson back in the ring and not throwing heavy punches drew poor reviews. Following the fight, Tyson canceled the tour.

After the world tour, Tyson wouldn’t participate in another high-profile exhibition for nearly two decades. Instead, he became a popular personality in the media, made several acting appearances, and leaned on his celebrity to turn his life around.

As a young man, Tyson struggled to handle his fame and landed in prison in the early 1990s. When he got out of jail in the mid-1990s, he was never the same fighter. But the problems from that era, especially financially, would haunt him for a long time and force him into a few exhibition events to pay bills.

Exhibition with Jones Jr. Confuses Everyone

The pandemic made us all go a little crazy. In Tyson’s case, he got the bug to climb back into the ring for a second exhibition fight. Tyson decided to fight Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition fight. 

There were a lot of moving pieces for this event. Tyson and Jones’ fight wasn’t originally supposed to be scored by judges. But then it was decided there would be judges.

The fight between Tyson and Jones would end up being scored a draw. While many people felt that Tyson won the fight, it was clear to people watching that neither fighter was attempting to seriously injure the other. Despite the nature of the fight being an exhibition, there was a lot of buzz about Tyson being back in the ring. 

People’s attachment to Tyson, who had turned his life around, showed that there was still plenty of interest in the former champion.

Paul Shakes Up Combat Sports

It’s not always easy to take Paul seriously as a fighter. Paul’s first two fights weren’t against combat sports athletes. Paul embarrassed former NBA star Nate Robinson by knocking him out in the second round. Since then, Paul has built a 9-1 record by fighting various levels of competition.

Paul has beaten former MMA standouts Nate, Diaz, Anderson Silva, Tyron Woodley (twice) and Ben Askren. Paul’s lone loss came to Tommy Fury in February 2023. Tommy Fury is the brother of lineal heavyweight boxing champion, Tyson Fury.

What Paul has excelled at is creating buzz around the fights. With a large social media following, Paul has been able to build a strong amount of excitement for events that he is involved with, even if he isn’t fighting top competition. Getting Tyson to come out of retirement should draw a lot of eyeballs to Netflix.

Don’t Want to End up Like Evander

Holyfield may provide a lesson in what happens when people don’t protect the veteran boxer. Holyfield decided to come back and fight Vitor Belfort at age 58. Holyfield stepped in on short notice, and the California State Athletic Commission refused to sanction the fight. 

Instead, the fight was moved to Florida. Holyfield fought Belfort, who was in his late 40s and still an active combat sports competitor. Belfort ended up winning the fight in 1 minute, 49 seconds via a knockout. It was an ugly chapter in the career of Holyfield, who had little to gain by taking the fight.

Plenty of Older Boxers Finding Work

The Fury-Paul fight isn’t the only one on the horizon with boxers returning from retirement. The latest boxing news online shows that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao plan to have an exhibition rematch of their earlier fight. Mayweather has been especially active on the exhibition circuit over the past few years.

Because these bouts don’t count the fighters’ professional records, they can negotiate things with each other to ensure the safety of both participants. Both sides often want to protect their reputation and won’t treat this like they would have in the prime of their career.

Paul has said that he wants to put Tyson to sleep in the promotions for the fight. It’s hard to believe that Paul will try to score a knockout over the 57-year-old former champion.

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By Dean McHugh.

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