Mike Tyson HOT TAKE
Mike Tyson is one of the greatest pugilists of all time, but it's been a long time since he entered a boxing ring. Sure, he has brawled in All Elite Wrestling against Chris Jericho on Dynamite and he's been enshrined into the WWE Hall of Fame, but nothing lives up to the chance of going home again. Before combat sports was a genre, combat greatness was synonymous with one name - TYSON.
No one can truly know what it was like to walk in the shoes of Mike Tyson. To achieve ultimate victory as the youngest Heavyweight Champion of the world at the age of 20. To have a videogame named after you at 21 years old. To have every victory and every mistake scrutinized under the microscope while trying to balance the pressure of being the best in the world while every challenger is coming at you in the ring and sometimes, even in the streets.
Mike Tyson's life has been celebrated, villainized, analyzed and obsessed over and will be for generations to come. It has been over 15 years since Tyson last stepped into the ring, officially, and since then, the world's appetite was all things Mike has never subsided. Whether it be telling the story of his life on the Broadway stage making the cameo of all cameos in The Hangover or even starring in his own animated series on Adult Swim, Mike Tyson has never disappeared from the world of pop culture.
But, the world assumed that it had seen the last of "Iron" Mike Tyson - the cold as ice, unwavering, mystical fighting machine that rocked the world and challengers alike with knockout after knockout. THAT Iron Mike Tyson that is returning to the ring on November 28th, live on FITE.
Like Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine, Iron Mike Tyson has been hiding in plain sight for years. Behind every smile hid the snarl of a combat sports artist, lying in wait. Behind every friendly wave resides a knockout punch waiting to be shockingly revealed. Behind every quiet moment is the whisper of the roar of the crowd, a whisper that grows larger and larger by the second, because Iron Mike is coming back.
At 54 years old, Mike Tyson may be older, but he's just as hungry as ever. He's hungry to prove he still has it. He's hungry to put his Legends Only League on the map. He's hungry to show the world that he's still the best of all time, the man who held the lightning bolt in his gloved hands when the popularity of boxing was at its zenith. After all, he holds a professional record of 50 wins (44 by Knockout) with just 6 losses.
Without Mike Tyson, modern combat sports would not exist and now, Tyson steps through the ropes and into the squared circle to re-define what a pop culture moment is via FITE, which will power the PPV hub of TysonOnTriller.com on November 28th.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Mike Tyson moment if it was going to be an easy night at the office. There are no tomato cans for Mike Tyson when he steps into the ring. Indeed, he'll be taking on Roy Jones Jr., long considered one of the best pound for pound boxers of all time.
While Mike Tyson's resume is second to none, Jones remains the rare breed of fighter who in 2003, was able to accomplish a feat so great, it hadn't been done in over a century - to go from Middleweight to Heavyweight Champion of the world. While Mike Tyson changed the fighting game forever, it was Roy Jones Jr. who was named the best boxer of the 1990s by The Boxing Writers Association of America with a career record of 66 wins (47 by Knockout), 9 losses
All you have to do is watch a video of Mike Tyson's training to tell he isn't coming back for show. He's coming back to win and win over one of the best all time fighters that ever lived. It's a dream match that doubles as a step towards immortality for each competitor.
With Tyson vs. Jones, let's not kid ourselves by saying this is "just" an exhibition match. It can be billed however the hype dictates, but we all know what this truly is - two world class athletes who want to show the world, and themselves, that they are the better man. These are two men who have outclassed and outlasted lesser men, who are without peer, except perhaps each other.
For years, the question of who would be the better man if they squared off has persisted and now, in 2020, the most unpredictable year in a lifetime, that question will finally be answered. Can Iron Mike pull out one more shocking first round knockout? Can Jones turn back the man who famously declared he was the "most brutal, vicious, and most ruthless champion there's ever been?"
This will be a chess match between two all-time grandmasters. One will fall. One will rise. This is no Rocky movie and there is no pre-ordained ending here. What there is, however, is excitement. Excitement for a chance to turn back the clock. Excitement for the moment when the bell rings and gloves are raised again. Excitement to see what happens when two true warriors, steeled by their resolve, their age and their experience to best the other and survive a war.
When the smoke clears and the victor's hand is raised to the air in celebration, the question of what could be next.
If Iron Mike is indeed resurrected with a win, who's next? What fight potentially rises out of our imagination and manifests itself into reality? Perhaps Tyson steps into the ring with Ken Shamrock to finally give us the boxing vs. MMA bout of our dreams? Does Tyson return to All Elite Wrestling to settle his issues with Le Champion, Chris Jericho? Could we finally get the last showdown between Tyson and Evander Holyfield? All of these things seem like longshots, but a year ago, didn't Mike Tyson stepping back into the ring at all seem like a longshot as well?
Don't bet against Iron Mike. He's just silently waiting for his moment - and that moment will unfold live on FITE on November 28th.
Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.