Mike Tyson Talks 'Really Interesting' Jake Paul Fight: 'Gotta Happen This Year'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 18, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 03: Mike Tyson attends the OneOf GRAMMY After Party at Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for OneOf)
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for OneOf

Legendary boxer Mike Tyson suggested Friday night that he may have an interest in fighting YouTuber and rising boxing star Jake Paul.

Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live (h/t Anton Tabuena of Bloody Elbow), Tyson was asked about Paul and whether a blockbuster fight against him is a possibility.

"That could be very interesting," Tyson said. "I never really took it serious, but yeah, it could be really interesting. Everything is possible, yeah. But it gotta happen this year. It gotta happen this year."

The 55-year-old Tyson has not had an official professional fight since 2005, while the 25-year-old Paul is 5-0 in five pro fights since 2020, including wins over former UFC stars Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley.

Although Paul hasn't faced a legitimate boxer yet, he has been impressive with four of his five victories coming by way of knockout.

Tyson, who was a knockout king in his heyday, praised Paul for what he has been able to accomplish during his short stint in boxing:

"He's skilled enough, yes. I'm gonna give it to him. He's skilled enough because he's winning. Even if he's fighting guys that you guys don't believe is a good enough fighter, they should be able to beat him, but they can't. He's beating people that he shouldn't really be beating. We got to give him that credit.

"And he's doing so much good for boxing. Listen, this guy got 70 million people following him every time he fights. Champions of the world don't have that many people following them. So what he's doing for boxing is just sensational. No one should be hating on that. He's helping everyone get money. Why are people mad at him?"

While Tyson is more than twice Paul's age, he would undoubtedly pose the biggest threat yet to Paul's undefeated record.

In a pro boxing career that stretched from 1985 to 2005, Tyson went 50-6 with 44 knockouts, earning him the nickname "The Baddest Man on the Planet."

Tyson began his career 37-0 and held the WBA, WBC, IBF and The Ring heavyweight titles before suffering a shocking defeat against James "Buster" Douglas in February 1990.

He recovered by winning his next eight fights after that and went on to clash with fellow legendary boxers such as Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis.

Tyson returned to the ring in 2020 when he met Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition fight that was ruled a split draw after eight rounds.

With Tyson turning in an impressive performance, there was some thought that he would fight again. That hasn't happened despite overtures and teases, but a clash with Paul would perhaps be one of the biggest possible fights in boxing right now.

Before thinking about a potential Tyson fight, Paul is focused on an Aug. 6 event at Madison Square Garden in New York City that he is co-headlining with Amanda Serrano.

No opponent has officially been named for Paul yet, but Tommy Fury is heavily rumored to be in that spot.

Fury, a professional boxer and younger brother of world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, was supposed to fight Paul in December but pulled out because of injury.