Depending on your age, you probably know one of two distinct versions of Mike Tyson. If you saw him fight, Iron Mike stands tall as one of the most fearsome boxers to ever step into the ring; if you’re too young to remember those bouts, however, you probably know Tyson as more of a meme than anything else. The former heavyweight champ, however, has a potential plan to change that.
Mike Tyson was once boxing’s baddest man
Despite their extraordinary talent, some athletes live fairly normal lives outside of the spotlight. Mike Tyson, for better or worse, wasn’t one of those men.
Growing up in Brooklyn, Tyson had a difficult childhood; due to repeated run-ins with the law, he eventually found himself north of the city at the Tyron School for Boys. There, Mike sought out Bobby Stewart, a former boxer turned counselor; he wanted to learn to fight.
Stewart immediately recognized the teenager’s talent and took him to Cus D’Amato; that introduction would change the course of boxing history. The legendary trainer taught Iron Mike the peek-a-boo technique, giving him a solid defensive base to compliment his raw punching power.
Tyson turned pro at 18 and immediately climbed to the sport’s highest height; he seemed capable of dispatching any opponent with incredible ease. That success, however, would prove to be fleeting.
While he excelled in the ring and made millions, Iron Mike also spent time in jail, bit Evander Holyfield’s ear, and filed for bankruptcy. More recently, though, he’s undergone a career resurgence, gracing the airwaves, screen, and everywhere.
Returning to the ring against Roy Jones Jr.
These days, it’s more common to see Mike Tyson on a podcast than in the ring. The former heavyweight champ, however, will finally be making his comeback at the end of November.
Earlier in 2020, Tyson teased a return to the ring on social media; that led to a variety of offers, ranging from MMA and bare-knuckle boxing to squaring off against a former rugby player turned boxer. Evander Holyfield also expressed an interest in facing Iron Mike, but nothing ever materialized.
Eventually, Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. agreed to fight in September; the bout has since been postponed until November 28. While the event probably won’t appeal to the boxing purists, Iron Mike will finally be back in the ring.
Mike Tyson could keep boxing after his date with Roy Jones Jr.
Based on his age, if nothing else, it’s easy to assume that Mike Tyson’s comeback would begin and end with the fight against Roy Jones Jr. The former champ, however, may have other plans.
“I don’t know. I might do this for a while. Let’s check this stuff out,” Tyson told ESPN’s Peter Rosenberg, according to Eric Woodyard. “It would be so awesome if we could do this all around the world and fight the best fighter in that country, exhibitions with this guy in that country, exhibitions all over the world. Wouldn’t that be great?”
It is worth noting, though, that the boxer already floated that idea. In 2006, he launched “Mike Tyson’s World Tour” in an attempt to earn some money. Iron Mike, however, was out of shape, and the tour barely got off the ground.
Tyson, however, does seem to be in better shape—both physically and mentally—than he did in 2006; he’s also undergone somewhat of a branding renaissance, becoming more of a wacky uncle than a disgraced boxer. It’s quite possible that, if launched an exhibition tour, fans would show up. If people will pay money to see Iron Mike’s one-man show, they might want to watch him box.
With Mike Tyson, though, one thing is always a safe bet: expect the unexpected.