Former heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson is back, though not as a professional.
Tyson, 54, will face off with fellow former champ Roy Jones Jr., 51, in an eight-round exhibition match set for Sept. 12 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. Multiple sources confirmed the news to MMA Fighting after reports from Yahoo! Sports and TMZ.
YouTube star Jake Paul and former NBA player Nate Robinson are also in talks to appear on the preliminary card, Yahoo reported.
Shortly after reports began to circulate, Tyson released a teaser for the upcoming fight.
Tyson and Jones Jr. are expected to sport 12-ounce gloves and will need to be medically cleared in order to make the bout official. Yahoo reported they will not wear headgear.
“They’re just going to be in there moving around and letting fans see these legends,” Andy Foster, who oversees the California State Athletic Commission that will regulate the event, told MMA Fighting.
The Sept. 12 event is promoted by social media platform Triller. The event’s preliminary card will include additional fights and musical performances. A 10-part docuseries will roll out with two episodes per week until the fight.
The news ends months of speculation about the possible return of Mike Tyson, who’s posted several training videos online. A feeding frenzy broke out among promoters over the right to host Tyson’s comeback, with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship bidding at least $20 million for one night with the boxing legend; Wanderlei Silva was pitched as a potential opponent.
MMA fighters also scrambled to get Tyson’s attention. UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz said he was in talks to fight Tyson. According to Yahoo, there were talks of Ortiz facing ex-world champ and one-time UFC fighter James Toney, but the matchup fizzled.
Tyson, meanwhile, talked up a charity rematch with boxing rival Evander Holyfield as other ex-champs called him out.
In their primes, Tyson and Jones Jr. were separated by quite a bit of weight. Jones Jr. was a multi-time super middleweight (168 to 174 pounds) and light heavyweight (175 to 199 pounds) champ, though in his later career he boxed as a heavyweight.
Jones Jr. most recently fought in February 2018, when he beat Scott Sigmon to win the German WBU cruiserweight title. Tyson, retired in 2005 after quitting on his stool during boxing match against Kevin McBride.
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