Former undisputed world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was originally coaxed out of retirement by the prospect of a charity boxing match against MMA fighter Bob Sapp.
Now the former ‘baddest man on the planet’ is facing a fellow boxing great in four-weight world champion Roy Jones Jr. in Carson, California, on September 12 and he’s not quite sure how it happened.
Talking on TMZ Live, as the promotional wheels began turning for the eight-round exhibition bout dubbed ‘Frontline Battle’, Tyson explained how he arrived at this point aged 54 years of age, but still a source of fascination for much of the world.
“My brother-in-law said, ‘I know you don’t want to fight, but would you fight Bob Sapp?” said Tyson. “Somebody wants to offer you a lot of money to fight him’. I said, ‘Get out of here, I told you I don’t want to fight anymore!’ And then I thought about it in my mind and went ‘ding!’ … I said I would fight [under the Marquess of Queensberry rules] and, for some reason, it went from Bob Sapp to somebody else, and this guy, and the next thing you know, I’m fighting Roy Jones Jr. on September 12.
“I don’t know how this happened. I’m just very grateful that I’m not living the life that I was living before. Allah has blessed for me to be able to do this.
“It’s going to be for various charities. Nobody has to ever worry about me getting rich, or getting jealous, or saying I’m doing this for money. I’m not getting anything. I just feel good doing this because I can.
“All of my life, I thought that loving yourself is buying myself a great car, a house, a boat or having a beautiful girl,” continued ‘Iron Mike’. “I found out that real love is just helping people and being kind and considerate, and that’s what I want to do. I’m not saying ‘I’m the greatest guy in the world’, and ‘I’m kind’ and all that stuff, but I want to embark on this lifestyle to see if this is where I’m at.”