Mike Tyson to promote season finale of ESPN Friday Night Fights

Jeff Bottari

Former world heavyweight champion and boxing superstar Mike Tyson will make his debut as a promoter on August 23, when he puts on a Friday Night Fights doubleheader on ESPN2.

Finally, the Mike Tyson classic fights lead-ins will make some logical sense. Tyson will promote his first boxing card on August 23 from Verona, New York, as his Iron Mike Productions company will be the promoter for an ESPN Friday Night Fights doubleheader.

In the main event, Argenis Mendez (21-2, 11 KO) will defend his IBF super featherweight title against Arash Usmanee (20-1, 10 KO). This fight was originally headed to independent pay-per-view, but it's a terrific FNF main event, and the fight will obviously have far bigger exposure this way. Mendez knocked out Juan Carlos Salgado in March to win the title. Usmanee is coming off of a heavily debated loss to Rances Barthelemy on FNF's January 4 season premiere.

The featherweight co-feature will pit undefeated Claudio Marrero (14-0, 11 KO) against Jesus Andres Cuellar (22-1, 18 KO), with the interim WBA featherweight title on the line.

Iron Mike Productions is the renamed Acquinity Sports, which had been working to get Tyson on board for months. Promoter Garry Jonas says he hopes that Tyson will give the company the attention that they need to become a bigger player in the fight game, and if Tyson can do anything, it's keep the attention of boxing (and non-boxing) fans with pretty much anything he does.

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