Mike Tyson, former world heavyweight champion who retired in 2005, said he will make a comeback at age 54, fighting Roy Jones Jr in Los Angeles.
On his Legends Only League website, Mike Tyson announced the eight-round exhibition bout against Jones, a 51-year-old fighter who briefly held the heavyweight title and has fought consistently into his 50s.
“It’s just going to be amazing,” Mike Tyson said on a video call on ESPN.
— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) July 23, 2020
The former world heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson shrugged off any notion of danger for serious injury for himself or Jones, saying that California rules will require they both wear headgear for the fight.
“We’re both accomplished fighters,” Tyson said.
“We know how to protect ourselves. We’ll be alright.”
Tyson finished 50-6 with 44 knockouts while Roy Jones Jr, who last fought in February 2018, is 66-9 with 47 knockouts.
Tyson vowed it would be competitive rather than for show — “we’re showing our skills and fighting” — and said he wants to recapture the fearsome form he once displayed.
“It’s 100 percent of it looking to be Mike Tyson in the ring,” Tyson said.
“I’ve got one speed — forward.”
In a battle for the aged, Tyson said he wants to show older can still mean exciting in the sports realm.
“It’s because I can do it and I believe other people believe they can do it,” Tyson said. “We aren’t washed up. Somebody says over-age is washed up but they have a bigger fan base than the guys who are training now.”
Tyson envisions elder statesmen events of mixed martial arts and NBA fame, mentioning such former NBA stars as Dennis Rodman and Allen Iverson.
Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history at 20 years and four months when he stopped Trevor Berbick in the second round in 1986 to win the World Boxing Council crown.
Within a year, Tyson was the undisputed champion and dominated the division, earning his nickname as “The Baddest Man on the Planet” and going 37-0.
But in February 1990 at Tokyo, Tyson suffered a 10th-round knockout at the hands of James “Buster” Douglas in a stunning upset.