Social media influencer-turned-boxer-turned-promoter Jake Paul is looking for his next opponent; could that be hall of famer Mike Tyson?
Tyson, 55, made his return to the boxing ring in 2020 for an exhibition bout against Roy Jones Jr. The former heavyweight champion looked good for his age but admitted a follow-up fight was unlikely. However, Tyson appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Friday, and appeared to change his tune on his in-ring future.
“That could be very interesting,” Tyson said in regards to a potential Jake Paul bout, per Bloody Elbow’s Anton Tabuena. “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.”
Paul, 25, has quickly risen to fame in the boxing world — becoming one of the sport’s top three earners (over $20 million) behind Canelo Alvarez and Anthony Joshua, according to Sportico. He is currently 5-0 — most recently earning a knockout win over former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley.
Despite facing opponents with very little boxing experience, Paul has become a big draw, and his next main event bout is scheduled to be at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 6; unified featherweight titleholder Amanda Serrano, who Paul promotes, will also be on the card.
Former Boston Celtics forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis has been rumored to be Paul’s next opponent, but Tyson is obviously the much bigger star.
Tyson added in his “Jimmy Kimmel Live” appearance his props to Paul and questioned why he gets as much hate as he does.
“He?s skilled enough, yes,” Tyson said. “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?”
Despite his rise to fame, Paul has not been without controversy. On April 9, 2021, TikTok star Justine Paradise accused Paul of sexual assault. Paul has denied the allegations, but Paradise has said she has received death threats after releasing her video. On April 22, 2021, model and actress Railey Lollie accused Paul of sexual misconduct.
An opponent has not been named for the Aug. 6 Madison Square Garden show, and with so much money on the line, it doesn’t appear there will be anything that can postpone it.