Despite some reports and rumors that 53-year-old Mike Tyson has agreed to a Bare Knuckle FC fight against Shannon Briggs, the promotion itself has tweeted that they do not have a deal with Tyson:
No, we have not come to any agreement with Mike Tyson...yet.— Bare Knuckle FC (@bareknucklefc) May 7, 2020
Tyson has been the subject of a lot of talk during the COVID-19 shutdown. First he won WBSS’ Fight Night CPU tournament by beating Muhammad Ali in the finals — something he says wouldn’t have happened in real life — and then going viral due to a short clip of him hitting the pads. Tyson has said he’s training for some possible exhibition bouts to raise money for charity. He’s been offered $1 million by an Australian promoter to face Paul Gallen, Sonny Bill Williams, or Barry Hall in an exhibition there, too.
Frankly, we’ve probably talked about Mike Tyson more in the last seven weeks than we have in the last seven years. Quarantine got everyone going nostalgic and what have you.
The idea of him fighting Briggs in BKFC — Briggs has signed with BKFC recently, and the company are rumored to have offered Tyson $20 million to fight him — is more serious, at least in terms of possible outcome. That wouldn’t be an exhibition. The 48-year-old Briggs is a former heavyweight champion himself, though not on the level of star Tyson was, and has fought professionally as recently as 2016. Tyson, meanwhile, hasn’t been in the ring since his 2005 loss to Kevin McBride, a sad career end for a once-ferocious champion, with Mike simply quitting after six rounds.
From what we know about Mike Tyson via Mike’s own words about himself over the last 15 years, from various interviews and the Tyson documentary and whatever else, a return to actual competitive fighting seems like a terrible idea, and would have been a terrible idea 10 years ago, too, when he was 43 and not 53. But Mike having the sort of fame and notoriety he does, if he says he’s been training at all, for anything, yeah, someone’s going to try to pay him money to fight. They shouldn’t, but a lot of things happen in combat sports that shouldn’t.
Personally, I have no real interest in seeing Mike facing Briggs in BKFC, though I’d buy the show and we’d cover it, because I’m a hypocrite with loose moral standards. But there is absolutely an audience out there for Mike Tyson fighting again. Don’t be shocked if he’s made an offer by someone that is just too big to turn down.