It appears the expected AEW in-ring debut of Mike Tyson won’t be happening prior to Labor Day as as the boxing great and mainstream sports star will instead be returning to the ring against another former great.
Yahoo’s Kevin Iole reported Thursday that the 54-year-old will return to action after retiring in 2005 against multi-division champion Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition match set for September 12th at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The TV distribution platform is unknown at this time, but is likely set for pay-per-view given the names involved.
Iole said he heard some MMA vs. boxing fights will be on the undercard but James Toney vs. Tito Ortiz is not one of them as Ortiz told California athletic commissioner Andy Foster there’s no truth to that rumor.
Foster said both men will likely wear 12 oz. gloves and won’t be looking to “take each other’s heads off.”
Rumors of a Tyson return started earlier this year when clips of an in-shape Tyson training surfaced on social media. In doing media for an event earlier this year, UFC president Dana White said he heard Tyson was definitely coming back against a big name even though he wished he would stay retired.
After back-to-back losses to Evander Holyfield, including one where he infamously bit par of Holyfield’s ear off, Tyson’s final six years of his career were a bizarre mix of wins, losses, and no contests to no names and a eighth round knockout defeat at the hands of Lennox Lewis. Tyson ended on a two fight losing streak to Danny Williams and Kevin McBride.
The 51-year-old Jones Jr. hasn’t fought in two years after racking up a 66-9 career record with much of the last decade against no names.
Tyson had appeared at AEW Double or Nothing this May, presenting the first-ever TNT title to Cody Rhodes. The Wednesday afterward on Dynamite, he and an entourage got in a pull apart brawl with Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle which was expected to lead to a singles match at some point.