For months, Mike Tyson has been teasing a boxing comeback. The former heavyweight champion wanted to return to the ring for the first time since 2005 but didn’t have an opponent to face right away. Now, it appears a fighter from the past will finally get a chance to face off against Tyson.
TMZ Sports (along with further reporting by Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole) stated that Tyson (50-6, 2 NC) will face off against Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition fight. Both will use 12-ounce gloves. The bout will be on PPV and will also be on the video streaming platform Triller. According to reports, the California Atheltic Commission, which recently accepted MMA and boxing back, has approved the fight to take place within the state.
Called “Frontline Battle”, the Tyson v. Jones bout will reportedly be joined by several fighters from the boxing and MMA world. Both sports will have representatives competing against one another in some way.
“This isn’t a situation where they’re going out there to try to take each other’s heads off,” Andy Foster, the executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, told Yahoo Sports. “They’re just going to be in there moving around the ring and letting fans see these legends.”
Tyson made his professional debut in 1985 and quickly rose up the ranks in the boxing world. He ended up knocking out Trevor Berbick in the second round of their fight in 1986 to win the WBC Heavyweight Title. He became the youngest world heavyweight champion of all time at 20. From then, he went on a run where he knocked out boxing’s best, including Tyrell Biggs, Larry Holmes, Michael Spinks, and Frank Bruno.
Following his upset loss to Buster Douglas in 1990 and arrests for issues outside of boxing, Tyson beat Bruno again for the WBC Heavyweight Title in 1995. He then lost two bouts to Evander Holyfield, one in 1997 for famously biting his ear. His last fight as a pro was a loss at the hands of Kevin McBride in 2005. Tyson has competed in exhibition bouts before; he faced Corey Sanders in 2006.
Tyson has since lost several pounds and appears in fight shape, thanking stem cell treatment for his transformation. He has also been working with Kings MMA’s Rafael Cordeiro. The announcement comes after Tyson announced the debut of the Legends Only League, focusing on providing a platform for elder stars looking to make a comeback.
— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) July 23, 2020
Making his professional debut in 1989, Jones (66-9) won the IBF Middleweight Title in 1993 against Bernard Hopkins. He then moved up in weight to light-heavyweight, where he won the WBA, IBO, WBC, and IBF Light-Heavyweight Titles. “Captain Hook” became the first middleweight champion to win heavyweight gold in 2003, beating John Ruiz via unanimous decision. He ended his career on a four-fight win streak in the cruiserweight division in 2018.
According to Metro, Jones was supposed to fight Tyson at one point. Tyson, who retired in 2005, was at the lowest point of his career. With $40 million guaranteed, Jones rejected an opportunity and fought Antonio Tarver in three bouts, going 1-2 against him. Jones, 51, recently expressed a desire to fight anyone 50 or older, and just a few days ago stated Tyson by name.