An exhibition fight between Mike Tyson and Jake Paul appears up in the air after the heavyweight legend shot down reports that they had agreed to a $50million exhibition bout.
Reports emerged on Monday that the camps were hammering out the details, with a fight set to take place in Las Vegas worth a whopping £36m in terms of pay-per-view and ticketing potential.
However, Tyson has now rubbished these claims, replying to the news on Twitter: “This is new to me. I saw Jake in St. Barths and he never mentioned it.”
So whether the fight will go ahead one day remains to be seen, but if it was to, the former undisputed heavyweight champion may have to perform a U-turn on a promise he once made.
Mike Tyson has previously said that he could never knockout Jake Paul ( Image: USA TODAY Sports)
Last October, ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ said he had no doubts that he could easily knock the YouTuber out, but said he would not do it because his family are huge fans.
“My family love Jake Paul,” Tyson admitted.
“So f***ing easy [to knock him out]. Yeah, but I would never. I’d be against my own f***** family. They love this little white motherf*****. You know what I mean?
“He got balls. He’s got f****** balls. When you see a white boy with balls, you know. I’m talking about for real, but f*** you motherf*****… Yeah but nah man, let him have his f****** reign.”
And there appears to be respect between the pair too, with Paul still during his embryonic days of his boxing career.
‘Iron Mike’ has been complimentary to Paul on several occasions, including one time when he is said to have referred to the YouTuber as “the GOAT” after learning he shared the same birthday as legendary trainer Cus D’Amato.
But despite his respect, Tyson has also been stern with the man 31 years his junior in the past, such as when he questioned his repeated attempts to call out UFC star Conor McGregor.
“I called out Conor McGregor while the whole entire world was watching,” Paul once told Tyson in an interview. “He’s fighting a guy, Dustin Poirier, who’s 5’9″, 155 lbs, who he TKOed already in one round. He’s fighting him again. Why?”
Tyson, clearly not impressed by Paul’s attempts to further stoke up a feud, simply replied: “You know Conor’s not afraid of you, right?”
Nevertheless, that icy moment between the pair doesn’t appear to have knocked Paul’s belief that the former world heavyweight champion is a huge fan of his.
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Last November he even went as far as to claim that the 55-year-old would agree that he is the “best thing that’s happened to boxing” in 100 years.
“I’m the best thing that’s happened to boxing in a century, period,” Paul told Bleacher Report .
“The legends would agree. The Anthony Joshuas, the Mike Tysons, the Manny Pacquiaos, the Tyson Furys. They’ve all said what I’m doing for boxing is a breath of fresh air.
“I think that debate started about a year ago – is Jake Paul good for boxing? I have silenced that, and I don’t think there’s anybody on the other side of the equation who thinks I’m bad for boxing.”
Paul even once had the temerity to compare himself to Tyson and fellow legend of the sport Muhammad Ali – despite the fact he has never faced anyone with prior boxing experience in the ring.
His argument was that, generally, fighters will take on a much lower standard of opponent earlier in their career as they build up their records before taking on tougher tests later in their careers.
“Nobody from Muhammad Ali to Mike Tyson to Floyd Mayweather was testing themselves as much as I was in my fourth fight,” Paul claimed after beating ageing MMA fighter Tyron Woodley for the first time.
“I learned a lot about myself and what I’m capable of and performing under pressure. I look forward to bringing that experience to my next fight.”