The training videos that former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson has been releasing on social media weren’t just for show, it turns out. Yahoo Sports has learned from multiple sources that Tyson plans to return to boxing to face Roy Jones Jr. on Sept. 12 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Andy Foster, the executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, confirmed that Tyson has put a hold on that date. Foster told Yahoo Sports that he met with Tyson and Jones via Zoom recently and that the fight will be an exhibition.
They won’t be wearing headgear, but will be wearing larger than normal gloves. Foster said he believed they’d wear 12 ounce gloves.
“This isn’t a situation where they’re going out there to try to take each other’s heads off,” Foster told Yahoo Sports. “They’re just going to be in there moving around the ring and letting fans see these legends.”
Tyson hasn’t fought since losing to Kevin McBride on June 11, 2005. Jones hasn’t fought since Feb. 8, 2018. Tyson is 54 and Jones is 51.
Foster said there had been talk that there would have been a boxing match between former world champion James Toney and former UFC champion Tito Ortiz on the undercard, but said Ortiz told him it wasn’t going to happen.
Foster confirmed to Yahoo Sports that he expects YouTube star Jake Paul to fight ex-NBA player Nate Robinson on the undercard.
After Yahoo Sports’ initial report of the story, Tyson posted a video on his Instagram page in which he announced the formation of the Legends Only League, which he said will include athletes from a number of sports. He didn’t specify how they will compete.
But interest in Tyson’s return to boxing skyrocketed earlier this year when Tyson released training sessions with noted MMA coach Rafael Cordeiro in which he was hitting the mitts. That stoked rumors of a comeback.
However, this isn’t expected to lead to a regular series of fights against currently active boxers.