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'No one else can do this': Iron Mike dismisses his doubters

Updated: 2024-05-15 09:14
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Former US boxer Mike Tyson speaks during a press conference at the Apollo Theatre in New York, on May 13, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK — Former heavyweight king "Iron" Mike Tyson said Monday that his decision to step back into the ring at the age of 57 was a "no-brainer", brushing off recent criticism that he was too old to make a comeback.

At a news conference in New York to promote his upcoming bout against YouTuber-turned-fighter Jake Paul, Tyson admitted training for his return had taken a toll.

"I'm doing great, but my body is shit right now, I'm sore, I'm really sore," said Tyson, who faces Paul on July 20 at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas — home to the Dallas Cowboys NFL team.

But the boxer, who terrorized the heavyweight division in the 1980s and 1990s as the self-styled "baddest man on the planet", insisted he had no reservations about lacing up his gloves again, nearly two decades after his last professional fight in 2005.

"It was a no-brainer," said Tyson. "He's a new up-and-coming guy on the scene, and I like shaking the sports world to its core, and I am doing it now. It's just something that I want to do."

Tyson, who turns 58 in June, takes on the 27-year-old Paul in a professional bout comprising eight two-minute rounds that has been sanctioned by boxing authorities in Texas.

However, several members of the boxing community, including former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, have voiced reservations about the fight, expressing concern Tyson could be hurt.

Tyson, however, dismissed the doubters when asked for his response on Monday.

"I'm beautiful, that's all I can say," Tyson said. "The people who said that, they wish that they were up here. No one else can do this."

Paul, meanwhile, said he is ready to deal with Tyson's experience and power.

"A lot of people are doubting me," Paul said. "I see the comments, saying, 'if Jake wins this fight it's rigged', because of how incredible he looks. Age doesn't matter.

"He's a killer. He's a warrior. He's been doing this his whole life, so it's second nature to him. I've only been doing this for four years and at a super high level.

"On July 20, I'm going to show the world that I can outbox Mike Tyson and prove everyone wrong, and show that I'm going to be the one doing the killing."

Tyson added that he held no animosity toward his much younger opponent.

"I really like Jake a lot, but once he's in that ring, he has to fight like his life is depending on it, because it will be," Tyson quipped.

The former heavyweight icon even refused to rule out further fights down the line.

"Maybe we'll do it again," Tyson said. "But can I take care of Jake first, please?"


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