Skip To Main Content
Reinvention edition banner 1180x90
Reinvention edition banner 778x150
Mike Tysons vs Jake Paul bout confirmed for July 20 | Image: Man of Many

‘We Signed the Contract’: Mike Tyson vs Jake Paul Confirmed

Boxing legend Mike Tyson will face off against YouTuber-turned-fighter Jake Paul in an exhibition match to be aired on Netflix. The former heavyweight champion, 57, will step back into the ring on July 20 at the 80,000-capacity AT&T Stadium in Dallas. The blockbuster bout will be the first broadcast of a combat sports event for Netflix, continuing the streamer’s recent foray into the world of athletic entertainment.

Jake Paul confirms fight with Mike Tyson | Image: Instagram
Jake Paul confirms fight with Mike Tyson | Image: Instagram

The Tyson vs Paul boxing match does provide an undeniably juicy prospect for fight fans, despite the 30-year age gap between opponents. Paul is recently coming off a first-round TKO victory against professional boxer Ryan Bourland, however, many boxing fans would remember him for his now-infamous bout with boxer and reality TV star Tommy Fury. The bout earned Paul a reported $9 million payday but failed to live up to expectations, prompting some fans to label the Tyson vs Paul match a ‘cash-grab’. Paul clearly disagrees, taking to Instagram to label the upcoming bout “The biggest fight of the 21st century”.

“My sights are set on becoming a world champion, and now I have a chance to prove myself against the greatest heavyweight champion ever, the baddest man on the planet and the most dangerous boxer of all time,” Paul said in a press conference promoting the fight. “This will be the fight of a lifetime.”

Tyson’s last competitive fight took place more than 18 years ago when the heavyweight legend went down to Kevin McBride in a TKO decision. He slimmed down and briefly returned to the ring for an exhibition match with former four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. at Los Angeles’ Staples Center in November 2020.

Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic and lockdown restrictions, that bout was held without an audience and saw the two former champions go toe-to-toe in a subdued but generally well-received affair. Interestingly, Tyson’s new opponent, Paul, was also on that same card, taking down former NBA player Nate Robinson in a stunning KO just 1 minute and 24 seconds into the fight.

Tommy Fury beat Jake Paul in Saudi Arabia | Image: Getty Images
Tommy Fury beat Jake Paul in Saudi Arabia | Image: Getty Images

As a combat sports athlete, Paul has proven to be a formidable force in the ring, earning a 9-1 record that includes 6 KOs. While it still pales in comparison to Tyson’s 50-6 record, ‘Iron Mike’ is not taking his opponent lightly. Speaking about the upcoming fight, Tyson praised Paul’s boxing ability, noting that he had come a long way since that initial audience-free event.

“He’s grown significantly as a boxer over the years, so it will be a lot of fun to see what the will and ambition of a kid can do with the experience and aptitude of a GOAT,” Tyson said. “It’s a full circle moment that will be beyond thrilling to watch; as I started him on his boxing journey on the undercard of my fight with Roy Jones and now I plan to finish him.”

According to The Guardian, the Texas department of licensing and regulation, which is responsible for sanctioning fights in the state has not confirmed how it will be officiated. The government body told the publication that it “is unclear how they will treat a bout involving a boxer who will be 58 by the time the contest comes around”. As a result, it is as yet unconfirmed if the fight will be treated as an exhibition or as a professional fight.

The announcement of the Tyson vs Paul event continues Netflix’s momentum in the sports space. The streamer has revolutionised motor racing with the launch of Drive to Survive, however, subsequent iterations of the sporting series, including the tennis-themed Break Point and golf-focused Full Swing have failed to capture the same acclaim. The entertainment brand’s first-ever live sports event, The Netflix Cup, garnered similarly low interest, with journalists from this masthead describing it as a ‘disaster’.