Mike Tyson will return to the ring for the first time in 15 years to fight Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition bout to be broadcast on pay-per-view and social media platform Triller on Sept. 12.
Tyson, 54, hasn’t fought since losing to journeyman Kevin McBride in 2005 but has been the subject of speculation recently after putting out boxing workout videos that have gone viral. One video generated more 3 million views on YouTube.
The boxer known as “Iron Mike” first won the heavyweight championship in 1986 by knocking out Trevor Berbick to become the sport’s youngest title holder at just age 20.
The fight against Jones comes ahead of a 10-part documentary on Tyson from Triller that will be released leading up to the fight.
Jones, 51, who won championships across several weight categories, hasn’t fought since 2018.
“I’ve been trying to enjoy retirement, but people don’t seem to want to let me retire,” Jones said last month of a possible fight against Tyson. “They keep calling me, telling me that Mike wants to come back, and you’d be a great opponent for Mike. I’m like, ‘Man, come on, bro. Y’all still want to see these hands go?’ Y’all know I don’t know how to say no. So don’t make me keep going.”
“We always wanted to see it, but I would’ve preferred it back then. Tyson is a hell of a specimen still. He’s still a problem to deal with. But at the same time, life is life, you only live once. You want to know what it’s like, you go in there and see,” he added.
The executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, Andy Foster, told Yahoo Sports that Tyson and Jones won’t be wearing protective headgear but will be wearing larger than normal gloves.
“This isn’t a situation where they’re going out there to try to take each other’s heads off,” Foster said. “They’re just going to be in there moving around the ring and letting fans see these legends.”
The bout will take place in California at a site to be determined.