Mike Tyson announced on Thursday (July 23) that he will make a comeback to boxing in an exhibition match against Roy Jones Jr. During an interview with ESPN’s “First Take,” Tyson spoke about why he was returning to the ring after so many years.
“It’s because I can do it. And I believe other people believe they can do it too,” the former Heavyweight World Champion said. “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.”
“I never took that many punches,” Tyson continued. “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 two will battle it out in an eight-round exhibition match on September 12 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Last month, Jones expressed his interest in a possible match against Tyson. “I’ve been trying to enjoy retirement, but people don’t seem to want to let me retire,” he said. “They keep calling me, telling me that Mike wants to come back and that you’d be a great opponent for Mike.”
Jones continued, “We always wanted to see it, but I would’ve preferred it back then. Tyson is a hell of a specimen still. Still a problem to deal with. But at the same time, life is life, you only live once. You want to know what it’s like, you go in there and see. You still gotta see it.”
The match will air on Pay-Per-View as well as the platform Triller, which will also premiere a 10-part docuseries leading up to the fight.