Mike Tyson Presses Champs: ‘Making the Fight Happen’

Mike Tyson


The days of Mike Tyson competing in legitimate superfight boxing matches at the highest levels of the sport might be over, but the 54-year-old is still using his considerable star power to help make other big fights happen between boxing’s best. WBC lightweight titleholder Devin Haney revealed to Heavy that Tyson had just put him in on the phone with four-belt champion Teofimo Lopez in an effort to get that fight lined up next for both fighters.

“He just put me on the phone with Teofimo Lopez, and we’re talking about making the fight happen,” Haney said.

According to Yahoo’s Kevin Iole, Tyson did the same thing recently with two other young stars.

Tyson used the incredible reach of his podcast to get Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis on the phone together to hash things out for that potential fight. According to both fighters, the two have now agreed on making Garcia vs. Davis happen.

“This just became one of the biggest events of 2021 and it was perfect to announce on ‘Hotboxin’. Stay tuned: We’ve got a lot of big things coming,” Tyson said.

Per Haney, another one of those “big things” seems to have been Tyson putting Haney and Lopez on the phone together in the same way in an effort to make that fight happen as well.

Haney vs. Lopez?

Haney said facing Lopez is the fight he wants most, though he’s hoping all four of the rising phenoms fight each other at least once.

“That’s the main fight I actually want to be made because that’s for all the belts,” Lopez said.

Boxing’s 135-pound lightweight division is full of top-flight stars.

Haney, Lopez, Garcia, and Davis are all under 26, and they are already drawing comparisons to the likes the “The Four Kings” of the 1980s: Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, and Roberto Duran.

Haney noted those kinds of comparisons to Hall of Famers were nice, but all he wants is the chance to prove where he stands among his peers.

“I think it’s good to be compared to those guys, but in reality, those guys fought each other, and that’s the main thing we need to do is fight each other,” Haney said.

“There are so many big fights to be made between us four. Mix them up any kind of way, and it’s a huge fight.”

Haney on Boxing Politics, Rival Promoters, and Title Belts

Haney is sick of all the antics from boxing’s sanctioning bodies and all the talk over who has what belt and what each piece of hardware means. All he wants to do is fight the other top lightweights.

“We just need to make these fights happen, and give the fans what they want to see,” Haney said.

Like most boxing fans, Haney has grown weary of how boxing’s four major sanctioning bodies seem to be making up things as they go along. Just when things seem to be settled, the WBA, WBC, WBO or IBF make something else up to confuse everyone.

Moreover, where the belts offered by those organizations do have the ability to help make certain fights happen, the antics of the World Boxing Council as of late seem to have actually kept Haney from getting the types of fights he desires.

“It’s one thing after another. They make up rules as they go. The only way to settle it…is for me and Teofimo to fight each other,” Haney said.

A very brief history of the events would be that Haney was lined up to face WBC lightweight champ Vasyl Lomachenko before “Loma” was elevated to the WBC “Franchise” champion.

At the time of Lomachenko’s belt switch, the WBC said the “Franchise” title couldn’t be won or lost inside the ring. and Haney was awarded the other WBC title.

Of course, later the WBC did allow unified champion Teofimo Lopez to face Lomachenko for the “Franchise” belt. Lopez won the fight, and now no one is 100% sure who should be called WBC lightweight champ.

“But when they’re making up new belts and new rules, it gives guys ways to move other directions. It gives guys ways to duck each other,” Haney said.

So the WBC would truly seem to be making up the rules as they go along, and that means Haney’s ire is directed solely toward that group, and not even at the promoter of both Lomachenko and Lopez, Bob Arum.

“We should really be mad at these sanctioning bodies. Bob Arum is just doing what he needs to do as a promoter,” Haney said.

Haney wants to fight Lopez next. If that fight does happen next, though, it would seem Tyson did more to help facilitate things than the WBC.

Regardless, Haney vs. Lopez would be a massive fight between two of the brightest young stars in the sport.

However the fight happens, whether due to Tyson’s podcast, the WBC’s antics, or otherwise, it’s great for boxing.

READ NEXT: List of UFC Fighters With Titles in Multiple Weight Classes

Twitter: @Kelsey_McCarson

YouTube: Real Talk with Kelsey and Rachel

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