Skip to main content

Mike Tyson is of the opinion that you’re only as old as you feel.

The iconic former world heavyweight champion will return to the ring this summer for a matchup opposite boxing neophyte Jake Paul in a bout that raised eyebrows across the combat sports community when it was announced several weeks back — and Tyson, who last competed in an exhibition draw with Roy Jones Jr. in November 2020, says that the interest in the cross-generational clash speaks for itself.

“I’m 58 and what? I’m getting billions of views from just talking to somebody about fighting,” Tyson said to the Reuters news agency. “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?”

The bout will represent a departure of sorts for Paul from his recent outings in the ring. In his past two contests he has earned early stoppages over legitimate (if somewhat out of practice) boxers.

But in Tyson, the YouTuber-turned-prizefighter returns to his previous strategy of taking on past-their-prime aged fighters. But as far as Tyson is concerned, the fight represents a mutually-beneficial opportunity.

“Why you think he wants to fight me and not anybody else?” Tyson said. “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.”

Tyson and Paul fight in Dallas’ AT&T Stadium on July 20.