The year 2020 has had a lot of surprises for Americans, including a global pandemic and Mike Tyson announcing his return to boxing. On Thursday, news broke that 54-year-old “Iron Mike” would be returning to action for a PPV boxing exhibition match against 51-year-old legend Roy Jones Jr on September 12. And in a recent interview with TMZ, Tyson revealed that he was offered an MMA fighter as an opponent before taking the Jones match.
Iron Mike told the media outlet that Bob Sapp was offered up as a potential opponent. Sapp, who is also a professional wrestler and kickboxer, has a professional MMA record of 12-20. Sapp, who also has a professional kickboxing record of 12-19, is infamous in the MMA community for his fights in Japan for promotions like Pride, K-1 and Rizin.
Sapp, who some call “The Beast,” is a titan of a man, standing 6 foot 5 inches tall and weighing over 300 pounds.
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Tyson Agreed to Fight Sapp But His Opponent Switched Multiple Times Until He Signed the Contract to Fight Jones
In the interview with TMZ, Tyson said that after he got married, he started working out and eventually his brother-in-law reached out to him with the Sapp offer.
Tyson’s brother-in-law said to Tyson: “Hey listen, I know you don’t want to fight but would you fight Bob Sapp. Somebody wants to offer you a lot of money to fight Bob Sapp.”
At first, Iron Mike told him to “get out of here” but after reflecting on the offer he asked if he and Sapp could fight under boxing rules. His brother-in-law said yes and then Tyson said he would accept the match.
Tyson continued, “I know Bob Sapp is a very big [and] strong, but if he fights me under boxing rules I could handle him.”
However, the fight between Iron Mike and The Beast did not materialize. He said, “For some reason, it went from Bob Sapp to somebody else, to this guy and then next thing I’m in a room and now September 12 is Roy Jones.”
Tyson Plans on Donating Some of His Earnings From the Jones Match to Charity
In the interview with TMZ, Tyson told the outlet that he would not be “getting rich” off the fight with Jones.
Tyson’s spokesperson issued a statement to TMZ: “Mike is committed to charitable causes at this stage in his life. Mike is making a substantial donation to charity to help those [affected] economically, medically and socially by the pandemic. The exact amount will be determined after the bout.”
The fight will take place on September 12 and it will be available on the platform Triller as a pay-per-view. The price of the card has not been announced. On the undercard, YouTube star Jake Paul will take on former NBA guard Nate Robinson.