At one point, Mike Tyson was considered the most dangerous fighter in the world. The multi-time heavyweight champion knocked out 44 men and become a true Hall of Famer in the sport. Retiring in 2005, the now-54-year-old believes he has a lot more to give.
Tyson (50-6, 2 NC) is scheduled to face off against Roy Jones Jr. in a comeback fight on September 12. Competing for charity, Tyson appears to be in great fighting shape. Losing weight and working out, Tyson is ready for his chance to show he is a changed man.
“The fact is, we live a different lifestyle, being the greatest,” Tyson stated to ESPN’s Max Kellerman, via Boxing Scene. “I never took that many punches. I [retired]. I lived my life. I’ve been through some experiences, and now I’m back. I feel that I took care of my body and state of mind better than most fighters that retired before me and came back … It’s going to be amazing. I’m looking forward to it.”
Making his professional debut in 1985, Tyson 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. His last fight as a pro was a loss at the hands of Kevin McBride in 2005.
During his time in the ring, Tyson was known for looking possessed. He would trash-talk and take down several opponents with ease. When he didn’t get his way, like against Evander Holyfield in 1997, he bit Holyfield’s ear. Tyson is looking to bring that same energy back (minus the biting). He showed a glimpse of his intensity during various training sessions.
“We’re both accomplished fighters. We know how to take care of ourselves … we’ll be alright. Trust me,” Tyson went on to say. “I’m looking to be 100% of Mike Tyson in the ring … I’m a neophyte in taking it easy. I don’t know how to do it that way. I am one speed, forward. I don’t know, Roy is just going to have to deal with that.”
The fight between Tyson and Jones (66-9) will be without headgear but both will be wearing 12-ounce gloves. Andy Foster, the Executive Director of the California State Athletic Commission, stated that a winner will be counted via knockout or exhaustion. He is not expecting a war due to the age (50+) of both men.
“The rules in California are that we must wear headgear,” Tyson stated. “We’re there to show our skills, and we’re fighting. This is what I learned in boxing when I was a young boy — when you sign that contract, there is an unwritten clause in there that can die at any moment during training or fighting.”
Tyson will be working with his recently-debuting Legends Only League, focusing on providing a platform for elder stars looking to make a comeback. The fight will air on PPV and the video streaming platform Triller. Now turning 54, Tyson’s new venture comes at the perfect time. He is hoping to inspire and entertain others.
“It’s just because I can do it, and I believe other people believe they can do it too,” said Tyson. “Just because I’m 54, it doesn’t mean I have to start a new career, and our life is totally over. Not when you feel as beautiful as I do. I’m sure other people feel the same way. “
The fight between Tyson and Jones will take place inside the Dignity Health Sports Arena in California.