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Is this real? Mike Tyson’s returning to the ring at 58… against Jake Paul

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Mike Tyson v Jake Paul on Netflix

Somehow, someway, Mike Tyson and Jake Paul are fighting in the middle of this year. Don’t worry, we can’t believe it either.

This may just be the biggest fight in the entirety of combat sports history. Forget the Rumble in the Jungle, forget McGregor v Khabib, or any McGregegor fight for that matter and forget Mayweather v Pacquiao.

Oh, and you can definitely forget McGregor v Mayweather. Those fights were enormous. Millions around the world tuned in to watch them too. And they meant something.

But they will be eclipsed in the history books by Mike Tyson’s long-awaited return to the boxing ring…against Jake Paul, of all people.

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What do we know about Mike Tyson v Jake Paul

Is this a joke?

No, it’s not. Some timeline we live in, hey? Paul and Tyson have confirmed the bout is taking place in the middle of 2024 at the 80,000-seat AT&T Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys franchise.

Tyson, who will be 58 by the time the fight has rolled around, has actually accepted a deal to fight Paul, 30 years his junior, in front of likely the largest audience any combat sports event will likely ever see. We can’t believe it either.

Tyson is arguably the most famous boxer alive, a man immortalised in the pantheons of sporting greats because of his ability to pack enough power to knock 10 men out into a single punch. In his prime, few were able to match the ferocity of Fury, with many learning the hard way why hardly anyone went the distance.

For his part, Paul, who wants to become a heavyweight champion of the world, believes this bout will firmly put him on the map of professional boxing organisations.

“My sights are set on becoming a world champion, and now I have a chance to prove myself against the greatest heavyweight champion ever, the baddest man on the planet, and the most dangerous boxer of all time,” Paul explained, seemingly with little regard for Tyson’s age or the fact his last professional fight came when Paul was in primary school.

This is hardly Tyson’s first foray into the world of exhibition boxing matches. In 2020, the former world champion fought Roy Jones Jr. in a card that reportedly grossed USD 80.5 million from pay-per-view.

Tyson described his fight with Paul as a ‘full circle moment’ given the YouTube star’s second ‘professional’ fight, against former NBA star Nate Robinson, occurred on the undercard to Tyson v Jones Jr.

Mike Tyson, Jake Paul, Tommy Fury
Jake Paul’s only boxing loss came against Tommy Fury in 2023

When is the fight?

20 July, 2024

Block out time in your calendars, this one promises to be big. The quality of the boxing will likely be far from world-class; that’s what happens when a retired former professional and internet sensation clash.

However, that’s not to suggest the show won’t be of the highest class, with production likely to be unlike anything we’ve seen from a boxing event, especially as many expect this to be one of, if not the, most watched fight in combat sports history.

Check us out on socials, @onlysportsanz: Instagram | Twitter | Tik Tok

Where will it be streamed?

Live on Netflix.

No, yeah. You read that right. The streaming giant, Netflix, is broadcasting the fight, its first foray into the world of combat sports events. That’s what we call a lucrative debut.

Netflix has shown its sporting hand in recent years, increasing its uptake of behind-the-scenes documentaries, such as F1’s Drive to Survive and golf’s Full Swing, as well as the Netflix Cup.

Occurring at the end of 2023, the Netflix Cup was the streaming giant’s first venture into the live sports world, which saw it stream an 18-round golf tournament between F1 stars and professional golfers.

Is this a professional fight?

While Paul seemingly wants that to be the case, nothing is yet confirmed by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. It could go ahead as a professional bout, though given the age difference between the two competitors, the Department may view this as amateur.

What could this mean for the future of sports streaming?

Well, there were rumblings about Netflix entering the world of live sports streaming at the backend of 2023. This feels like the streaming giants first steps towards making their presence in the sporting arena more profound.

While it’s unknown what Netflix’s future sports streaming plans are, and whether they’re prepared to enter the sports broadcasting world for events that aren’t one-offs, like boxing cards or golfing events, remains to be seen.

However, securing the rights to broadcast Mike Tyson v Jake Paul, likely the most viewed fight in combat sports history, feels like the streaming platform putting a marker down.

Kyle Robbins
Kyle Robbins
Kyle is a senior sports writer and producer at Only Sports who lives and breathes sport, with a particular burning passion for everything soccer, rugby league, and cricket. You’ll most commonly find him getting overly hopeful about the Bulldogs and Chelsea’s prospects. Find Kyle on LinkedIn.

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