Who will Mike Tyson fight?
CAPE TOWN – Ever since Mike Tyson announced he was making a comeback to the boxing ring, things have gotten crazy and a number of names have been mentioned as potential opponents.
Former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield followed suit and also declared he was back, which led to speculation that the two were going to go head-to-head.
A couple of other names from Shannon Briggs and Tyson Fury have since claimed they’ve been offered the chance to fight Iron Mike. On Saturday, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman claimed a title fight between Tyson and Fury was something they were open to.
Speaking about his comeback, Tyson has claimed he’s fighting “someone bigger” than Holyfield, and also on Saturday, UFC boss Dana White claimed “Tyson has something big lined up”.
IOL Sport discusses some of the names that have been mentioned since the former undisouted world heavyweight champion roared “I’m back” on Instagra,.
FILE - WBA Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield (R) connects to the jaw of challenger Mike Tyson. Photo: Reuters
The 57-year-old Evander Holyfield is possibly the biggest name that’s been mentioned so far. He’s four years older than Tyson, which would also make him the most realistic opponent for the 53-year-old Tyson. David Haye said Tyson should consider fighting someone closer to his own age, and Holyfield is that fighter.
A fight between Tyson and Holyfield would also allow them to complete the “trilogy”. Holyfield beat Tyson twice in the late 90s, although the second came via a disqualification after Tyson took a bite out of Holyfield’s ear.
FILE - Shannon Briggs is keen to fight Mike Tyson.
At 48, Shannon Briggs is another fighter who is closer to Tyson’s age. Shannon reached the peak of his boxing career just as Tyson was on the way down, and unfortunately, the two never faced each other.
Despite retiring George Foreman in 1997, Briggs was never regarded a true great due to not going up against Tyson. Perhaps this could be his moment to etch his name in the boxing annals as one of the men who stopped Mike Tyson, albeit a 53-year-old Mike Tyson.
Tyson Fury throws a punch at Deontay Wilder during their WBC World Heavyweight Championship title fight at the Garden Arena in Las Vegas in February. Photo: Etienne Laurent/EPA
Tyson Fury is known for his ability to embelish the odd story or two. When he came out last week and said he was offered a chance to fight Tyson, most people did not believe him. But the story got even weirder when WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman claimed he was open to the idea of the two Tysons facing each other in a title fight.
When George Foreman won a title at 45 in 1994, it was crazy. A 53-year-old Tyson becoming world champion again would be even crazier, and potentially great for the sport, which has lost some of its shine over the years.
However, there are those who believe putting a 53-year-old man in a ring with a 30-year-old world champion is dangerous and responsible, such as David Haye.
Wanderlei Silva, of Brazil, left, stalks Chael Sonnen during a mixed martial arts bout at Bellator 180 in 2017. Photo: Gregory Payan/AP
Tyson has been spending a lot of time training with MMA fighters in recent week and that has led to speculation that his comeback could happen inside an octagon. The was a rumour that Tyson had been offered $20 million to take on Silva with no gloves.
Is that about to happen? We’ll have to wait and see.
Sonny Bill Williams
FILE - Former All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams.
When Tyson first announced he was making a comeback to the ring, there were those who saw the former All Blacks centre as the perfect opponent in an exhibition fight or two.
SBW, who has won all seven of his previous fights, famously beat South Africa’s in 2012 in a fight that was scheduled to be 12 rounds but ended up being only 10.
Tyson, however, has said he will only fight bona fide boxers and refused the offer to fight the two-time Rugby World Cup winner.