Reports that “Iron Mike” Tyson, 54, and Roy Jones Jr., 51, plan to return to the ring to fight each other were met on social media with comments ranging from excited — “I would like to see it” — to “My condolences.”
Both former boxing world champions are coming out of retirement for a Sept. 12 comeback fighting each other in an eight-round exhibition at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The fight will be broadcast on pay-per-view TV and on the multimedia platform Triller.
This will be the first pro fight in 15 years for Tyson, who lost his last match in 2005 to Kevin McBride.
Tyson announced his comeback, tweeting “I. AM. BACK. September 12th against Roy Jones Jr. on Triller and PPV.” Tyson has teased a comeback to the ring for the past year.
The former Heavyweight World Champion, Tyson is considered one of the most feared boxers of all time, often referred to as “the baddest man on the planet.”
Both Tyson and Jones Jr. are considered among the all-time greats of the sport.
Tyson has a 50-6 career record, with 44 knockouts among his 50 victories. Jones Jr. won world titles in four different weight classes from middleweight to heavyweight. He has a 66-9 record.
After retiring from boxing in 2005, Tyson started a lucrative second career in Hollywood, playing versions of himself in TV shows “Brothers,” “Entourage,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and “Franklin & Bash” and in movies “The Hangover,” “The Hangover Part II,” and “Scary Movie 5.”
He has his own YouTube channel specializing in comedy sketches and parodies of music videos.
At the peak of his career as a boxer, Tyson said that he had a net worth of $400 million.
Jones Jr. last fought in February 2018, when he beat Scott Sigmon on points. Known as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers of all time, Jones Jr. has been working recently as a trainer with Chris Eubank Jr.
Tyson posted a series of training videos on social media that show both he and Jones Jr. “appear to have some gas left in the tank.”
Tyson battled substance abuse and weight issues after he retired from boxing, but says he’s made health and fitness a priority again, and wants to get back into the ring to help raise money for charity.
“Human beings are not meant to be humbled,” Tyson said in a promotional video released to promote the fight.
The boxers’ age combined with their deteriorating condition make the bout a “dangerous” idea that could leave either of them seriously hurt or dead, according to Luke Griggs, a U.K. brain injury expert.
“When we all get older, we do become more vulnerable and our brains do take longer to recover from any injury,” Griggs told Sky Sports.
Tyson owns a cannabis ranch — “Tyson Ranch” and plans to open a weed-themed resort with a hotel in the Mojave Desert. The resort will have an edible factory, amphitheater and glamping campgrounds. The ranch grows various strains of marijuana that are sold in dispensaries throughout California and in Las Vegas, Marketwatch reported. Tyson says the operation sells about $500,000 a month in weed products.
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On social media, Tyson fans and non-fans tweeted encouragement, challenges and concerns.
“He’s way to old, even myself can KO Mike Tyson right now” @KatysMyHabibi tweeted.
“How bout you stop being a hater, and give the man praise! Your daddy is probably his age and im sure he couldn’t run a mile let alone get into a fight” @GoingGreen203 tweeted.
“Hey @MikeTyson I loved watching you a fight in the past. However, I wonder if this is just about the money. I would rather see you at your cannabis ranch and smoke one with you,” @baw0124 tweeted.
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