Four months after staging a comeback, Mike Tyson is planning to return to the boxing ring. And this time, he wants to finish his opponent.
Tyson was restricted by amateur rules employed for his fight with Roy Jones Jr. this past November. But he plans to “go all out” in a return he says will happen in May at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Appearing alongside Canelo Alvarez and former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo on his “Hotboxin” Podcast, Tyson said his comeback against Jones Jr. motivated him to compete again 14 years after an exhibition against Corey Sanders.
“I felt better than I anticipated,” Tyson said of the fight, first reported by MMA Junkie. “I thought I would be a little more nervous than I was. But, I was relaxed. I felt like, wow, I could do some more, I could punch more combinations, I could do this and do that.
“I said, ‘Wow, this is interesting.’ And I want to do it again, and I want to do it against someone I could go all out on. It made me interested in wanting to do it again. I wanted to go the distance. I didn’t want to knock anybody out. That’s what people expected, but I wanted to go the distance.”
In fact, the fight’s regulators at the California State Athletic Commission explicitly said knockouts were not the goal at the exhibition bout and warned it could be stopped if things got out of hand. Despite that, the aging former champs availed themselves well over eight rounds, with the 54-year-old Tyson clearly outworking the 51-year-old Jones.
Although the bout wasn’t officially scored, celebrity judges employed by promoter and social media platform Triller scored the bout a draw.
Tyson has entertained a trilogy with Evander Holyfield and been linked to rematches with Lennox Lewis or Buster Douglas. But he didn’t name an opponent for his May return.
The former heavyweight champion and entertainment personality also weighed in on the celebrity boxing craze he helped elevate with his blockbuster online pay-per-view this past year. Next month, MMA veteran Ben Askren will take on YouTube star Jake Paul, who knocked out Nate Robinson on the undercard of Tyson’s bout with Jones Jr.
“You MMA guys, if a guy’s got better hands, you can grab him,” Tyson said. “If you’re boxing and the guy has better hands, you’ve got to do a lot of thinking. It’s going to be a long night.”
Alvarez was a little more severe.
“Anybody can do whatever is they want or desire, but boxing is no joke,” he said according to Cejudo’s translation. “Nate Robinson had no reason to become a professional boxer. They left him half-dead after that fight. This isn’t a joke, either.”