Legendary former heavyweight champion “Iron” Mike Tyson is climbing back into the ring. On Sept. 12, he will face Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The 54-year-old bruiser’s return to the ring has incited excitement across social media over the past months after he posted footage of himself training. Tyson last fought 15 years ago, when Kevin McBride shut him down after just six rounds.
On Thursday, Tyson made an appearance on ESPN’s First Take to explain why he is climbing back into the ring.
“It’s because I can do it. And I believe other people believe they can do it too. Just because we are 54, it doesn’t mean that we have to start a new career and our lives are totally over. Not when you feel as beautiful as I do, and I’m sure that other people feel the same way,” Tyson preached.
“I never took that many punches. After the last fight I had, I left and I lived my life, and I’ve been through some experiences, and now I’m back here. I feel like I took better care of my body and my state of mind than most of the fighters before me that retired and came back.”
The fight against Jones Jr. will be sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission. The fall event will feature live performances from top musical artists. It will be available on Pay-per-view and on the new social media platform, Triller.
Tyson and Jones Jr., however, won’t be the only bout that evening. Former NBA star Nate Robinson and YouTube personality Jake Paul have agreed to fight on the undercard.
The fight will be Robinson’s first time in the ring. For Paul, it will be his second bout. He notched a first-round TKO of fellow YouTube personality Gib.
Robinson released a statement to The Athletic’s Shams Charania about the fight.
“I wanted to show that I’m a world-class athlete, I played college football, played in the NBA for 11 years, and I’m excited for this venture into the sport of Boxing. Jake Paul, I want all the smoke.”
Paul delivered his own comment on the match, predicting the outcome.
““I am excited to partner with Triller and get in the ring to fight an elite athlete. But make no mistake, on Sept. 12, Nate will meet the canvas early.”
Leading up to the fight, Triller will release a 10-part docuseries featuring Tyson and Jones Jr. preparing for their fight, with two episodes airing each week.