Is Mike Tyson still fighting Jake Paul? Latest updates on rescheduled boxing match

Is Mike Tyson still fighting Jake Paul? Latest updates on rescheduled boxing match

The controversial but undoubtedly big-money boxing match between Jake Paul and Mike Tyson will no longer happen on July 20 as planned. The official Netflix X account, formerly Twitter, posted on Friday evening that the fight would be postponed to a later date after a recent Tyson medical issue. Tyson was recently aboard a flight heading from Miami to Los Angeles when he required medical attention for what was reported as an ulcer flare-up 30 minutes prior to the airplane landing. Passengers onboard were delayed 25 minutes once the plane landed.

While Tyson claimed to be “feeling 100% even though I don’t need to be to beat Jake Paul,” it turns out the medical issue was enough to force the fight to be postponed to a later date. “I want to thank my fans around the world for their support and understanding during this time,” Tyson said in a Netflix article. “Unfortunately, due to my ulcer flare-up, I have been advised by my doctor to lighten my training for a few weeks to rest and recover. My body is in better overall shape than it has been since the 1990s and I will be back to my full training schedule soon. Jake Paul, this may have bought you some time, but in the end, you will still be knocked out and out of boxing for good. I appreciate everyone’s patience and can’t wait to deliver an unforgettable performance later this year.”

The idea of the fight has been loudly criticized by many as Paul, the social media superstar-turned-boxer, is 30 years younger than the 57-year-old Tyson. Tyson looked great for his age in a 2020 exhibition fight against Roy Jones Jr. but has not had a professional fight since a 2005 loss to Kevin McBride. While the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation allowed Paul vs. Tyson to move forward as an officially licensed professional bout, the fight is set to feature special rules, including eight two-minute rounds, rather than the standard three-minute frames of professional boxing. Also, both boxers will wear 14-ounce gloves, which are larger than standard and thus will take power away from punches.

“I fully support postponing the event so Mike Tyson has no excuses come fight night,” Paul said. “My fans know I don’t want to face Iron Mike at anything but his best, but let there be no mistake – when he steps into the ring with me, I will be ready to claim my W with a sensational finish. Paul vs Tyson will be one for the ages, and I promise to bring my best for this once-in-a-lifetime matchup.”

The fight is planned to take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and will likely draw more attention and money than any boxing fight in recent memory. It also will be streamed live on Netflix, the first time a boxing match will be shown on the streaming service.

Mike Tyson is returning to the ring. Yes, you heard that right. Nearly nineteen years after his last pro fight, Tyson will face Jake Paul in a boxing match on Nov. 15 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys. The bout was first scheduled for July 20 but was postponed after Tyson, who had a scare on a flight from Miami to Los Angeles on May 26, and needed to receive medical attention, was advised to rest and to not return to training for a few weeks.

The YouTuber-turned-boxer Paul (9-1, 6 KOs) has said recently he wants to focus on fighting real boxers to eventually compete for a world title. Instead, he’ll fight long-retired Tyson (56-6, 44 KOs), a former heavyweight champion and one of the best in boxing history. His last competitive fight was a TKO loss to Kevin McBride in June 2005. Tyson will be 58 when the fight takes place. Tyson participated in an eight-round exhibition bout with Roy Jones Jr. in July 2020, and while the fight exceeded expectations, no one was clamoring for more.

During the height of his career, Tyson was one of the most feared fighters in boxing and earned the moniker as the “Baddest Man on the Planet.” He was the undisputed heavyweight champion and still owns the distinction of being the youngest boxer ever to win a heavyweight title. After serving less than three years in jail for a rape conviction between 1992 and 1995, Tyson returned to the ring just five months later and, after two wins, regained the WBC title by defeating Frank Bruno in 1996.

After starting his boxing career facing fellow YouTubers and former MMA fighters, Paul, 27, lost a split decision to Tommy Fury in February 2023. Last August, after beating another MMA fighter in Nate Diaz, Paul stated he was going to change course with hopes of developing a true boxing career. He scored first-round KO wins over Andre August and Ryan Bourland since that point, fighting at the cruiserweight limit of 200 pounds.

On April 29, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation confirmed it will sanction the Tyson-Paul bout as a professional fight with eight two-minute rounds and 14-ounce gloves, and the outcome will affect both of their professional records.

All of this begs us to ask one question: Why is this happening? Tyson might be old for a boxer, but time hasn’t eroded his star power one bit. Even though Tyson’s last professional fight took place in 2005, he remains one of the biggest names on the planet, not just in sports. There’s also no doubt that Paul is one of the biggest social media stars out there. Add them together, and you have one massive event that’s sure to generate worldwide appeal, boxing purists be damned.

Netflix has upward of 260 million subscribers globally, and since this isn’t a PPV, there’s a chance this is the most-watched fight of this century. Seriously. Mayweather’s bout with Manny Pacquiao in 2015 shattered the PPV record with 4.6 million buys. Long gone are the days of Muhammad Ali fighting on ABC in front of hundreds of millions. The Rumble in the Jungle was rumored to the most-viewed fight globally, but that was in 1974. And even for Tyson, the most popular fighter in the world since Ali — all his biggest fights were televised on PPV.

Tyson still looks the part, though he’ll now be 58 for the rescheduled November date. And there will now be serious questions regarding his ability to compete given the ulcer he suffered that postponed the July date. When’s the last time a fight was postponed for something like that? Whether the fight happens as planned at all bears watching given his recent health scare.

Everyone involved will surely make a lot of money and there’s little doubt this will be one of the most watched boxing matches ever. But no one really wants to see a nearly 60-year-old Mike Tyson get beaten up by Jake Paul. That just wouldn’t be a good look for anyone, Paul and Netflix included. Some will surely believe Tyson will whoop up on the younger YouTube kid. But Paul is big, strong, athletic and three decades Tyson’s junior. He’ll have the advantage in every physical way.

Both are consenting adults and if they want to fight and the TDLR approves Tyson with a clean bill of health, then no one can really stand in their way. These are the kinds of spectacles that get put on these days in combat sports and this is the most polarizing one yet. The best-case scenario is the fight gets classified as an exhibition and the two have a friendly, yet physical sparring match, kind of like Tyson vs. Jones Jr. As Coppinger noted, those two weren’t throwing with bad intentions back in November 2020, but the crowd still went home satisfied with the event. Frankly, this is all about entertainment anyway, not real sports competition. And that’s OK if taken at face value.

“Paper Tiger” is what I think of when I hear the name Jake Paul. The term means a person who appears strong on the surface but lacks the necessary skills and experience. It’s important to note that Paul has gotten better and has shown some improvements, achieving success since his loss to Tommy Fury. But when I look at this situation with legendary Mike Tyson, who will be 58 by the time the fight happens, one of boxing’s all-time iconic figures, returning to the ring against Paul, I can’t help but think about our once-called sport and its lifeline.

Many boxing purists, like me, have seen a shift in boxing as the business side has taken over. We see more and more crossover events, high-profile exhibition matches, and celebrity boxing matches becoming more prevalent nowadays. Modern-day boxing now prioritizes entertainment and financial gains over the traditional values of boxing, such as our amateur system, honed exceptional boxing skills, discipline, and overall professionalism.

One can argue these changes bring more eyeballs to our sport and have generated more revenue for boxers. But I would say and raise a question to everyone involved: where is the integrity in our sport we once had? Being called a boxing world champion meant something, as we saw in our featherweight division in early March from Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York, an impressive come-from-behind knockout win from Raymond Ford over Otabek Kholmatov with just seven seconds to go. Now, that’s boxing at its best! A Jake Paul and Mike Tyson matchup is a severe joke and a blow to the authenticity of professional boxing.

Following Paul’s only pro loss, a split-decision defeat to Tommy Fury last year, he turned his attention to his bread and butter: MMA opponents. Paul soundly defeated Nate Diaz in August and then announced he would begin to develop his skills the ol’ fashioned way with bouts against “real boxers.” Those “real boxers” were unquestionably far below the level of Paul’s MMA foes like Diaz, Ben Askren and especially Anderson Silva, but Jake’s crossover events were losing steam. And it made some sense from a narrative standpoint. Knock out a few part-time boxers with built-up records — the same way star fighters like Canelo Alvarez and Gervonta Davis did on the way up — with an eye on title contention.

Paul scored a first-round KO of journeyman August in December and followed up with a first-round TKO of another such opponent in Bourland on Saturday. But those bouts didn’t seem to elicit much attention. So Paul has probably made the prudent move with a return to what he does best: star in a circus bout against a fellow big name. Whether Paul ever circles back to his stated goal of becoming cruiserweight champion remains to be seen. But this money-making event with Tyson should do little to change that trajectory. It will only stand to boost Paul’s profile, and again, it should be an exhibition where Paul doesn’t lose any boxing credibility.

He’ll remain a big box-office attraction for whoever comes along with a large enough name. Back in 2020, after Paul knocked out Nate Robinson, he said his dream fight was with UFC star Conor McGregor. At the time, it seemed absolutely ridiculous that could ever happen. Fast forward less than four years later and it’s a distinct possibility. McGregor has two fights left on his UFC contract. He wrote on Instagram earlier this week that he wants to fight twice this year, once in June and once again in September. That would potentially make him a free agent before 2024 is out.

Paul fighting Tyson doesn’t necessarily preclude him from continuing to fight gatekeepers with an eye toward title contention one day. But it’s also clear that if these big-money events come up, he’s not going to turn them down to continue steadily on that championship path against unknowns. For all the criticism that this fight with Tyson will rightly glean, it’s pretty remarkable what Paul and Most Valuable Promotions has done in a very short time, putting on major boxing events and building its roster. Paul has made combat sports work for him, rather than vice versa.

The biggest part of this story isn’t Paul or Tyson. It’s that Netflix is streaming this fight live internationally without an added paywall. Paul vs. Tyson will be the third sporting event Netflix has hosted and streamed. There is surely more to come, and not just with Netflix’s big rights deal with WWE for the Raw television show in the United States and the wrestling promotion’s full slate of offerings being available on the streaming giant worldwide. Paul vs. Tyson at AT&T Stadium is a full-throated message from Netflix that is going in big on not only sports, but combat sports, specifically. That could be a very good thing for boxing with Showtime and HBO bowing out of the game in recent years after decades of being market leaders. Perhaps Netflix could even be a player for the UFC, too, when its rights deal with ESPN is over.

For months now, the biggest upcoming fight in professional boxing was the bout between 27-year-old Jake Paul and 57-year-old Mike Tyson. The fight, originally scheduled for July 20, was set to be streamed on Netflix, and had captivated the entire boxing world. Unfortunately though, as of May 31, the fight has been postponed. Everyone’s worst fear has come true. The biggest worry leading up to this fight was whether or not Tyson would be medically cleared, and it seems that he is at the moment in no position to fight.

In all fairness, Tyson’s team and all reports claim that this was a flare-up, and that Tyson had been feeling as good as ever right before. However, other reports would indicate otherwise. As of right now, no new date for the fight has been given. That said, on Friday, May 31, both Paul and Tyson said that they will announce a new date for the fight the following week, which would be in the coming days. We will update when there is a definitive date.

Four days before the fight was officially postponed, Tyson reportedly suffered a medical emergency on a plane scheduled to fly from Miami to Los Angeles. According to the New York Post, Tyson’s representatives say that Tyson became nauseous and dizzy — stemming from an ulcer flare up — about thirty minutes before the plane landed. The scare wound up delaying passengers from leaving the plane for 25 minutes while medical professionals tended to Tyson. However, after all was said and done, Tyson’s representatives said that the former heavyweight champ was “doing great.”

It is believed that this is the event that ultimately led to the fight’s postponement. In a statement from the fight promoter, it read, “During a follow-up consultation on Thursday with medical professionals on his recent ulcer flare-up, the recommendation is for Mike Tyson to do minimal to light training over the next few weeks and then return to full training with no limitations.” Of course, with Tyson unable to train, he will be in no position to fight a boxer like Jake Paul. Tyson had been training feverishly before this though. Since the announcement that the fight would be rescheduled, Tyson has come forward to reiterate that he’s still in excellent shape, and has even claimed “my body is in better overall shape than it has been since the 1990s, and I will be back to my full training schedule soon.”

USA Today’s Josh Peter wrote Friday that he’d interviewed seven doctors “who specialize in gastroenterology, which defined by the Mayo Clinic involves ‘preventing, diagnosing and treating the digestive tract.’ That includes treating ulcers.” Although none of those doctors are treating Tyson personally, they recommended between three and six weeks of recovery for Tyson in order to fully treat the issue. One of the doctors explained that an untreated ulcer can require emergency surgery, which would be a worst-case scenario for Tyson. Given that Tyson has already postponed the fight, it doesn’t appear that it will go untreated.

According to Peter’s report, the leading cause for ulcers is bacterial infection and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Of the seven doctors Peter spoke to, five allegedly raised the possibility that Tyson was taking NSAIDs for pain caused by his excessive training, leading to the ulcer.

In a press conference, White, a good friend of Tyson’s, told reporters that he was not going to talk about the Tyson-Paul fight publicly. “For the first time probably ever in my life, I have no comment on something. That’s Mike’s world, and you know, he gets pissed at me every time I talk about that stuff. Good for him, and they’ll figure it out.” White had been a staunch advocate that Tyson should not return to the ring to fight Jake Paul, and it appears he got his wish for now. White’s statement “Good for him” referring to Tyson, hints that White is at least glad that Tyson is taking his doctors’ advice and not pushing through a serious medical issue for his own pride.

In an Instagram video, Jake Paul expressed his disappointment in the news of Tyson’s health problems. Paul, never one to worry about coming off arrogantly, was actually surprisingly respectful of Tyson, iterating that Tyson’s health comes first and foremost over the fight. Paul called the news “devastating” but remained adamant that the fight will still happen. “This may have bought you some time,” Paul said. “But in the end, you will still be knocked out.”

Source: ESPN, The Associated Press, USA Today

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