Boxing

Mike Tyson v Jake Paul: Former world champion says boxing match will be an exhibition bout

Mike Tyson v Jake Paul: Former world champion says boxing match will be an exhibition bout

Mike Tyson (right) competed in an exhibition bout against Roy Jones Jr in 2020 [Getty Images]

Former world champion Mike Tyson says his boxing match against YouTuber Jake Paul on 20 July will be an exhibition bout and not an official fight.

Tyson, whose professional career ended in 2005, will turn 58 three weeks before facing Paul in Texas.

Paul, 27, beat Ryan Bourland in his 10th professional fight last month.

"This is called an exhibition, but if you look up 'exhibition' you will not see any of the rules will be fighting under. This is a fight," Tyson said.

The contest – which will not count to their professional records if it is an exhibition – will broadcast live on streaming platform Netflix.

It will take place at Arlington's AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, which has a seating capacity of 80,000.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), the body that approve boxing events in the state, told BBC Sport that while a request to hold an event on the day by the promoter had been received; no proposed fights or further details were given. "Under TDLR rules, in an exhibition fight the combatants wear bigger gloves (16oz), have two-minute rounds and fight in fewer rounds than a sanctioned professional bout," the TDLR said.

"In an exhibition, there is a referee but no judges and no winner is declared."

Tyson had his most recent exhibition bout in April 2020 against Roy Jones Jr, which ended in a draw.

Paul has won nine of his 10 boxing fights, mostly against ex UFC fighters, with his solitary defeat coming to Briton Tommy Fury in February 2023.

Speaking to Fox Sports, Tyson said Paul – who rose to fame by posting videos online – has come "a long way from YouTubing".

"I saw a YouTube of him at 16 doing weird dances. That's not the guy I'm gonna be fighting," Tyson said.

"This guy is gonna come, he's gonna try to hurt me, which I'm accustomed to, and he's gonna be greatly mistaken."

Tyson become the youngest heavyweight champion in history at 20, when he beat Trevor Berbick in his first title fight in November 1986.

The American finished his career with 50 wins and six defeats.

Outside of boxing, he served three years of a six-year prison sentence after being convicted of rape in 1992, and in 1999 he served a third of a 12-month sentence for a road rage assault.

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