Mike Tyson is back! It’s no secret the dynamic and highly-polarizing boxer is planning to step into the ring this coming year. Tyson is one of boxing’s fiercest and most exciting fighters in the entire history of the sport. He’s also one of the most controversial.
Not a lot is known about Tyson’s exact comeback plans, but a lot of rumors are floating around right now. One of the more interesting reports is a proposed fight in Australia of all places.
Training for his return
This past month, videos surfaced showing a lean, mean Tyson back in fighting form. Tyson has been retired since 2005. After a series of legal problems that included prison time, and a successful comeback that stalled after he bit off Evander Holyfield’s ear in the middle of a fight, Tyson simply called it quits. He’d lost his drive and was done with the sport.
Tyson’s retirement has been anything but relaxing, though. Facing mounting financial troubles, the former heavyweight champion has done a little of everything, from exhibition matches to acting and a Broadway show with Spike Lee, and even a monetized YouTube channel.
But now, 15 years later, it seems that the fighting bug has bitten once again. Tyson released a video in late April showing him training for a potential charity event. To be perfectly honest, the video looks terrifying.
Although he’s visibly older, sporting a gray beard now, he’s fit again like he was carved from a block of wood, and his hand speed is downright scary. In a recent CNN interview, Tyson said, “The gods of war have reawakened me, ignited my ego and want me to go to war again.”
A quick, easy million in Australia?
In his prime, Tyson was known for his extreme anger, but he’s older and seemingly wiser now. How should he channel his newly-reawakened rage? Australian boxing promoter Brian Amatruda has a few ideas, according to CBS Sports.
Seizing on Tyson’s sudden momentum, Amatruda reached out to American boxing promoter Mark Markson to offer the aging heavyweight champion $1 million dollars to come to Melbourne for a charity fight. This wouldn’t be the first time that Tyson traveled to Australia for a fight.
Markson previously brought Tyson to Melbourne for an exhibition match back in 2012, during a more turbulent time in Tyson’s life. As Amatruda sees it, the biggest challenge would be securing a visa for Tyson. It could be difficult given the fighter’s history, but he got one in 2012, so why not now? This leaves the question: Who would he fight if he went?
The list of potential challengers
Spoiler alert: Hardcore boxing fans probably won’t know any of the names on this list. But Australians will.
At the top of the list is Barry Hall, a retired Australian-rules football player, and consequently a mountain of a human being, according to 7News. Also in contention is celebrated rugby star Paul Gallen, whose monolithic chin is as big as a glacier.
Don’t forget about Sonny Bill Williams, also a pro rugby star out of New Zealand. These men both have amateur boxing experience and a physique built for power. While they might not have the heavyweight experience that Tyson does, they aren’t strangers to fighting or contact sports in general. At first glance, it might even be a close match.
But inevitably, it comes back to the training videos that Tyson released. For a fighter who was once known as “the baddest man on the planet,” the 53-year-old looks pretty damn good. Think about it like this: the training videos were promotional. Imagine an older, wiser Tyson at full power. The Australian challengers should beware; he might just come for a $1 million payday.