Boxing-Tyson says he is still a huge draw despite age

  • Boxing
  • Tuesday, 02 Apr 2024

FILE PHOTO: Boxing - Jake Paul v Tommy Fury - Diriyah Arena, Diriyah, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - February 27, 2023 Mike Tyson is seen before the fight REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Mike Tyson will be 58 when he takes on Jake Paul on July 20 in Texas but he said fans are still clamouring to see the former heavyweight champion in action.

The bout between one of the most feared fighters in history and YouTuber-turned-boxer Paul will be held at the 80,000-seat AT&T Stadium in Arlington and streamed live on Netflix.

"I'm 58 and what? I'm getting billions of views from just talking to somebody about fighting," Tyson told Reuters.

"Everybody, even most of the athletes, they're jealous, that's whack... I say in your prime you couldn't draw a million people, man. What are you talking, you couldn't sell out arena. Who at 58 could sell out an 80,000-seat arena?"

'Iron Mike', who has a 50-6 record with 44 knockouts, said the 27-year-old Paul recognises the public's enduring interest in him.

"Why you think he wants to fight me and not anybody else?" Tyson said of Paul, who has a 9-1 record with six knockouts.

"Everybody wants to fight him, all the boxers want to fight him. But if he fought them the only people that will come are the people that like him.

"The other guys, their parents might not even come watch them. That's just keeping it real. They're too boring for their children to watch, it's like watching grass grow."

The fight is the first for Tyson since he took on Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition bout in November 2020, where Paul was on the undercard.

Although it has yet to be officially announced, the fight is also expected to be designated an exhibition, the USA Today reported.

That would mean the rounds would be two minutes as opposed to the traditional three, the boxers would wear heavier gloves that make it safer and there will be no official judges to score the rounds, so a victory could only come by knockout.

(Writing by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Toby Davis)

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