Boxing

Mike Tyson Reveals the NFL Hall of Famer Who Inspired His Boxing Comeback

For some time now, boxing fans have known that Mike Tyson was making a boxing comeback. It’s also been known for some time that the 54-year-old Tyson would be squaring off against 51-year-old former champion Roy Jones Jr. What really wasn’t made clear was what made Tyson want to get back in the ring. Tyson recently revealed it was an NFL Hall of Famer who inspired him to make his comeback.

Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. set to square off

RELATED: Roy Jones Jr.’s Final Straw With His Father Was a Dead Dog

Saturday’s comeback fight between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. should be an interesting one. While it’s billed as an exhibition, it’s tough for the boxers to believe that both fighters will be adhering to the rules. Neither fighter is supposed to enter the ring with the mindset of knocking out the other. Jones Jr. has already expressed doubts Tyson will follow that rule.

“You don’t know what Mike Tyson might come in there and do,” Jones Jr. said in an interview with Joe Rogan. “You gotta protect your ears, your chin, your jaw. And you don’t know what he might do. So what you better do is get in shape and be prepared for whichever Mike shows up.”

Jones Jr. brought up the time when Tyson fought Corey Sanders in a so-called exhibition and Tyson seemed to ignore the no-knockout rule. “Yeah, it’s an exhibition with Mike Tyson, who knocked Corey Sanders down in the first round of an exhibition back in 2004,” Jones Jr. said to Rogan. “What is your definition of an exhibition? Going in a ring with Mike Tyson has nothing exhibitionish about it.”

Tyson and Jones Jr. have combined for 116 wins

Both Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. had very impressive professional boxing careers. Tyson was known for his powerful knockouts, especially in the early part of his career. Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion of the world when he was 20 years old. He won the first 37 fights of his career.

Tyson won the first 19 of his professional fights by knockout. Twelve of those knockouts happened in the first round. Tyson finished his career with a record of 50-6.

Jones Jr. won his first 34 bouts. His first loss came against Montell Griffin after Jones Jr. was disqualified for hitting Griffin after a knockdown. Less than five months later, Jones Jr. reclaimed his light heavyweight title by knocking out Griffin in the first round. Jones Jr. finished his career with a 66-9 record.

Tyson reveals Jerry Rice inspired him to come back into the ring

After more than 15 years, Mike Tyson is stepping back into the boxing ring. He’ll step into it with Roy Jones Jr., who last fought in 2018. Tyson getting back into the ring isn’t about a need for money or publicity. He’s doing it for charity and he’s also boxing again because of former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice.

In an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Tyson said he drew inspiration for a comeback because of Jerry Rice. “I was looking at this show, it was about Jerry Rice,” Tyson told Helwani. “He was a four-something (speed) and now he’s a five-something. So I guess because he’s a second or a couple of seconds slower, he can’t play football no more. I thought that was ridiculous.

“Now I know that we live in the era of Instagram, there’s more people on Instagram that would like to see him play now than the person who plays his position now on the San Francisco 49ers, I believe. It’s all about the numbers and what the people want to see. You think people want to stop seeing him because he’s two or three seconds slower?”