Mike Tyson’s Next Fight: Everything you need to know about Tyson vs Jake Paul

 | 17th April | 

5 mins read

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Mike Tyson returns to the ring on Saturday, July 20, against influencer-turned-boxer Jake Paul. The fight will take place at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Streaming market leader Netflix will broadcast the card, making its first foray into live boxing coverage. The fight is currently scheduled as an exhibition, though both fighters have publicly lobbied for its recognition as a professional contest.

Jake Paul vs Mike Tyson Tips

  • Mike Tyson to win @ 13/10

This is the second time Tyson has gloved up in a prize ring since his 2005 retirement. In 2020 he took part in ‘Lockdown Knockdown’, an eight-twos move-around with fellow Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr. The bout attracted enough interest, 1.6 million buys on pay-per-view, to almost necessitate further Tyson activity. In a fun piece of symmetry, Jake Paul had his second professional fight on the undercard.

Of course, if Tyson had made a fool of himself against Jones, we wouldn’t be talking about him fighting again four years later. But ‘Iron’ Mike showed enough of the old Tyson to tempt viewers into wanting more. The only real surprise, after watching the former ‘Kid Dynamite’ bob-and-weave nimbly against Jones, is that it has taken so long to get him to do it again.

The first fight got people so carried away that WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury even talked up a possible exhibition against his namesake. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed there. Other suggestions included a third go-around with the similarly-ageing Evander Holyfield and a rematch with 2002 conqueror Lennox Lewis. 

Ultimately, these ideas went nowhere and Tyson returned to the sidelines. Appearing happy and content, it felt like the Jones clash had given him closure. After departing the sport following back-to-back knockout losses to the unworthy duo of Danny Williams and Kevin McBride, Tyson finally had a denouement worthy of his incredible career.

So why is Tyson back? If you believe his friend Henry Cejudo, the UFC fighter, there are about 20 million reasons for ‘Iron’ Mike to return. $20 million is the purse Cejudo claimed the New Yorker is getting for engaging Paul, as told to the Pound 4 Pound podcast.

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There will be more to it than that though. Tyson’s reported net worth is $10 million. His cannabis business, endorsements, film roles and podcast keep the ‘Iron’ Mike ship afloat without him needing to ball his fist in anger again. 

This goes deeper than just money. While furnishing his bank account will appeal to the boxing legend, there is also something to be said about the opportunity to stand in the spotlight again.

Countless former boxers have spoken about how the pressure, profile and platform of the sport is something they never replaced in their lives. How nothing can compare to the moment when the arena lights dim, the announcer bellows your name and you stare at your opponent while thousands roar you onwards into battle.

Tyson will not be stood across the ring from a fighter who will ever be able to claim parity as his equal. The 57-year-old has faced Holyfield, Lewis, Larry Holmes and Michael Spinks. Eternal legends of this unique sport. Jake Paul will never become one of them. But still, he is popular. The AT&T Stadium will be raucous. While they occupy entirely different realms, this will likely be Tyson’s most-watched bout since he faced Lewis 22 years ago. 

That rush will soon come back for the ‘Iron’ one. The debate has raged over how much of an exhibition this will truly be. Cynics say we are in for nothing more than glorified sparring. But Tyson’s entertaining scrap with Jones came behind closed doors, during Covid. It was easy to be measured. But Mike has always worn his heart on his sleeve. When the crowd is roaring, the sweat is dripping down his back and the gloves are on; will the old instincts kick in?

That is arguably the sole intriguing factor in this pseudo-bout. Nobody wants the sad image of Mike struggling to keep up with Paul, under-skilled but far younger at 27. ‘The Problem Child’ has cut his teeth on knocking out MMA fighters, athletes, influencers and retired journeymen. Beating Tyson won’t change the fact he is not a true boxer of renown. Neither will a tame sparring match in which neither man ventures much and each gains even less.

No, the one thing people will tune in for is Tyson being Tyson. Not the version that chewed ears, pushed referees and threatened to eat his opponent’s progeny. But the version that sliced Spinks, folded Frank Bruno and concertinaed Carl Williams. Just like in 1986. Just like in 1996. The fans want blood. Then, it was the blood of Trevor Berbick or Bruce Seldon. Now, the blood of Jake Paul will suffice. 

Whether we get it or not is anyone’s guess. Owing to the endless toing-and-froing in the press, it is hard to pin down exactly what this fight is going to be. An exhibition in name only or an exhibition in practice? The latter will satisfy nobody. But the former might just give the majority of fans, and one Mr M. Tyson, exactly what they want. 

You can find all our latest boxing tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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