“Not A Fight I’m Happy To See”: Experts Weigh In On Mike Tyson Vs. Jake Paul Boxing Match

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Here comes the boom…er. The recent announcement of the upcoming boxing match between Mike Tyson and Jake Paul, set to take place this summer in Texas, USA, has generated intense anticipation and debate amongst fans and experts alike, especially due to the fighters’ difference in age.

Mike Tyson, the former heavyweight boxing champion, will meet Jake Paul, a YouTuber-turned-prizefighter, in the boxing ring in what is expected to be the “most polarizing spectacle yet of the recent crossover boxing craze.”

The fight won’t be Jake’s first time meeting Mike, as he initially rose to combat sports fame when he knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson on the undercard of Mike’s exhibition boxing match with Roy Jones Jr. in 2020.

Mike will face Jake in the boxing match on July 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in the main event of a card (a lineup of matches) that will air on Netflix, ESPN reported on Thursday (March 7).

It will reportedly be the streaming company’s debut into combat sports and its third live sporting event.

The 27-year-old internet sensation’s Most Valuable Promotions (MVP) secured an agreement with Netflix for a boxing card in November 2023, per MVP co-founder Nakisa Bidarian.

Nakisa said in a statement: “Jake Paul vs. Mike Tyson is a once-in-a-lifetime dream matchup, and I anticipate it will be the most-watched boxing event in modern boxing history.”

The highly anticipated Tyson vs. Paul boxing match is poised to be a groundbreaking event in the world of combat sports

Image credits: Jake Paul

As of now, it is reportedly unclear how the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation will handle this controversial matchup, as it is currently undetermined whether the event will be considered a professional fight, therefore a sanctioned fight where the fighters receive financial compensation, or an exhibition, which is a more informal or staged event where the primary goal is entertainment rather than competition.

According to ESPN, Mike is one of the greatest, and most fearsome, heavyweight boxers to ever live. Nevertheless, he will be 58 at the time of the fight, whereas Jake is three decades his junior.

Mike was in good shape when he fought Roy Jones to a draw in an exhibition boxing match on November 28, 2020, and he has looked good in social media video training.

The boxing icon hasn’t participated in a professional fight since the year 2005. Additionally, in his last two professional fights, he was defeated by being stopped or knocked out by his opponents. He eventually hung up his gloves.

“[Paul has] grown significantly as a boxer over the years, so it will be a lot of fun to see what the will and ambition of a ‘kid’ can do with the experience and aptitude of a GOAT,” Mike said in a statement.

Jake, with an impressive record, defeated former UFC stars like Nate Diaz and Anderson Silva, and he has been aiming to gain experience by facing more seasoned boxers in pursuit of a world championship.

The age gap between the two fighters Mike Tyson and Jake Paul has been a topic of controversy, debated amongst experts in the field

Image credits: Netflix

“It’s crazy to think that in my second pro fight, I went viral for knocking out Nate Robinson on Mike Tyson’s undercard,” Jake said in a statement.

He added: “Now, less than four years later, I’m stepping up to face Tyson myself to see if I have what it takes to beat one of boxing’s most notorious fighters and biggest icons.”

The highly anticipated fight, which represents a collision of boxing’s traditional legacy with the modern era of social media and entertainment, has sparked various opinions, with many sports experts offering their insights.

“I can’t exactly say I saw this coming,” Fansided MMA contributor Tom Albano told Bored Panda in an email. “I remember Paul saying he was (somehow) looking [at] the path towards being a world champion and would take a money fight only if it came. I was expecting him to have another ‘tomato can’ style bout next, but I guess the money fight came!”

In boxing, a “tomato can” refers to a fighter who is considered to be of low skill level or little threat to their opponent.

“I don’t doubt that this could sell,” Tom added. “You’ve got Netflix, the biggest streaming platform in the world. You’ve got Jake Paul and the brand and name value that he has in social media influencing and in combat sports. And you’ve got Mike Tyson, one of the greatest heavyweights to ever compete in the sport.”

A sportswriter predicted the fight ending in a decision win for Jake “if this is an official bout”

Image credits: Jake Paul

According to Tom, the fight will attract viewers “one way or another.”

As far as who would win, Tom said, “One thing that needs to be taken into account is that it’s not final if this is an exhibition or a pro fight.”

He continued: “I’d be surprised if Texas allows this to be a legit professional boxing contest, but we’ve seen crazy things happen in combat sports!”

Tom predicted the fight ending in a decision win for Jake “if this is an official bout,” pointing to Mike and Jake’s age difference and “activeness.”

“Anyone who wants to say Mike is training, while that’s true, training and actual competition are two different settings,” the sportswriter said.

“That said, I wouldn’t mind seeing another KO win for the first boxer I ever became familiar with,” he admitted.

Tom concluded: “Honestly though, it’s all a spectacle. It’s a business venture. It’s a money fight.

He further stated: “I’m curious to see the viewership and social numbers for this fight. And I want to see how Netflix handles the production of this.”

Stephen Jones, who boxed in the 1980s and 1990s as an amateur and spent a vast amount of time between the 1990s and 2000s in Las Vegas working with a number of fighters, including heavyweight Friday Ahunanya and former WBC heavyweight champion Samuel Peter, claimed to have witnessed Mike’s comeback after being released from prison.

“I saw how declined he looked when he first walked into the gym after Indiana and how quickly he gathered momentum and elevated himself to a point where he actually resembled a solid imitation of his best self,” Stephen told Bored Panda in an email.

“Mike will be 58 by the scheduled fight time and, in reality, shouldn’t be allowed to perform in paid fighting,” another boxing enthusiast said

Image credits: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Mike Tyson was convicted of rape in 1992 and served three years in prison from 1992 to 1995.

Stephen, who runs Mirageboxing.blogspot.com and coaches amateur and professional fighters in the UK, further recalled: “Mike was hurting men in the gym daily, a naturally aggressive predator with very little mercy on his way to regaining the title.

“Mike, even at his most broken, could thrash his way through a version of the heavyweight division and remain a lightning bolt in the division’s history.”

However, according to Stephen, Mike has now become “a sideshow against a man who wouldn’t have had the guts to carry Mike’s gym bag in the 1990s.”

The boxing coach explained: “Mike will be 58 by the scheduled fight time and, in reality, shouldn’t be allowed to perform in paid fighting despite his obvious natural instincts.

“Jake is hiding behind a goofy persona with a vast following and great business acumen.

“Don’t be fooled, despite no boxing background and a late arrival to the sport, he is always in great condition. He fights often and has [a] very shrewd boxing advisory around him.”

Also pointing to Jake’s younger age, Stephen added: “I’d love to have the naivety to fantasize about Mike demolishing Paul, [but] the reality is very different.

“A heavily muscled and powerful 58-year-old who hasn’t boxed a live opponent in combat in nearly 20 years and, despite his underwhelming level of opposition, Jake has boxed frequently and is an extremely diligently conditioned athlete who takes the sport seriously.”

Stephen went on to note the rarity for a fighter to return after a 20-year hiatus.

“I’d hope Mike would emerge morally victorious by carefully evading Jake’s best efforts, but I don’t think it’s a fight that can offer Mike an opportunity to roll back the years,” he said.

“It’s not a fight that I’m happy to see,” the boxing enthusiast said before concluding: “Mike always has a puncher[’s] chance of hurting and stopping Paul, but in my experience, a lively and motivated young and enthusiastic upstart will be hard to discourage.”

“This can’t be real,” a reader commented

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