It’s been about 15 years since the world was treated to a boxing bout from one of the history’s most accomplished boxers Mike Tyson. But all that is about to change as Mike is set to step in the ring this Saturday against fellow veteran and retired boxer Roy Jones JR.
The two are set to face off in an exhibition match in what has been assumed as the greatest return in boxing. However before you get too excited, this bout is nothing more than it was listed; an exhibition match. Rather than a comeback marking his return to the fray, it’s a match that is likely not going to be serious.
Mike is 54 and Jones is 51, so they most likely would be pulling their punches. Matter of fact, the stipulation of the fight officially states that Mike and Jones are not allowed to knock each other out. Also, other rules have been adjusted to make the match as friendly as possible. Like reducing the time from of each round from 3 minutes to 2 minutes. There will be no ringside judges, any blood drawn spells the end of the match, there will be no winner, ergo no loser, and both boxers are required to wear 12oz gloves, bigger than the usual gloves worn in elite boxing.
More than anything, the match was set to give people a surface level idea of what may have happened if Tyson and Jones faced off in their prime. And to just generally entertain the boxing community.
For Mike, as series of better life choices led to this fight. Late last year he began hitting the gym and getting into better shape. Since then videos of him showing how much good shape he had gotten began attracting promoters.
He was initially offered a $1 million by Australian boxing promoter Brian Amatruda to face off against an Australian boxer from a list of potential contenders in an exhibition match. Soon after other deals surfaced, but in the end the Mike vs Jones fight was the match that was agreed upon.
Tyson began hinting his return to boxing as early as April 2020 in a YouTube interview with American rapper TI, stating “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.”
By May, he posted two videos on his Instagram of himself training with the caption; “I’m back.”
Tyson’s journey from an early age has not been an easy one to say the least, and his 20 year boxing career was no easier. Faced with one scandal or another, Mike’s tale from city boy to most ferocious boxer is really fascinating to behold.
To run through, Mike by age 13 was a known delinquent popular for petty crimes and getting into fights. By that same age he had been arrested a total of 38 times. He found himself in Tryon School for Boys in Johnstown New York, where he was discovered by then boxing trainer Bobby Stewart. He then dropped out of school.
By age 18 Mike made his professional debut into boxing, making quick work of the opponents put before him. He won 26 of his first 28 fights by KO or TKO, with 16 of them coming in the first round. At age 20 he became the youngest world champion after defeating his opponent Trevor Berbick in the second round via TKO.
In July 1991, he was arrested for the rape of 18-year-old Desiree Washington, for which he spent three years in jail before being released on parole. He declared bankruptcy in 2003, despite having made an estimated $300 million through out his career. And of course who can forget when he bit off Evander Holyfield’s ear.
In 2006 he officially retired after being deemed unfit to compete. His career stats read; 58 matches, 50 wins, 44 KOs, 6 losses and 2 no contests. He was also the undisputed heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990.
After his retirement, he set up a series of four exhibition matches, but the first one was such a disaster, with a very low turn out, and fans booing during the match, that Tyson decided to forfeit the remaining three matches. However, in 2020, it seems a demand to see this once dominant athlete has spawned his return, and the boxing world is anticipating what Iron Mike will look like in the ring at age 54.