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Report: Mike Tyson to be given over $20 million offer for bare knuckle fight, possibly against Wanderlei Silva

The 53-year-old former heavyweight champion’s possible comeback saga is going big.

USTA 19th Annual Opening Night Gala Blue Carpet Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

53-year-old former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson has really been the talk of the lockdown as far as boxing goes, as he’s been training again and making a lot of media rounds, going viral with a short training clip, and appearing at All Elite Wrestling’s pay-per-view event this past Saturday night.

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) has been in the mix, with rumor of a $20 million offer for Tyson to fight on one of their cards. MMA Fighting now reports that BKFC’s David Feldman is prepared to go north of $20 million to secure the services of “Iron” Mike, possibly for a fight against former MMA star and champion Wanderlei Silva.

Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock have also expressed interest, but Feldman seems most interested in the Silva idea. The 43-year-old Silva claims he’s been offered $10 million by BKFC for the fight, and he’s accepted it. The Brazilian’s MMA career saw him fight from 1996 to 2018. He hasn’t retired officially, but his contract with Bellator MMA ran out last year.

Silva hasn’t actually won a fight since 2013, and didn’t fight from Mar. 2013 until June 2017, when he returned for Bellator and lost to Chael Sonnen.

With a career record of 35-14 (27 KO/TKO), Silva is one of the true legends of mixed martial arts, and one of the most purely entertaining fighters ever in his prime, when he was a star in Japan’s PRIDE promotion.

The truth is, of course, a Tyson-Silva fight would make a lot of money on pay-per-view. The sheer intrigue of Mike Tyson alone would make a lot of money, but in a new arena like bare knuckle, against an MMA legend like Silva? Silva’s no mainstream sports name and is long past his prime, but you can sell him as plenty credible, particularly against an old man.

Will Mike take it? Should he? That all remains to be seen. It’s a lot of money to turn down, but Tyson reportedly turned down $20 million already.

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