By: Hans Themistode
Former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson wasn’t kidding around when he said he wanted to return to the ring soon.
After ending his decade and a half retirement late last year to take on future Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition matchup, Tyson announced to the world that he would continue his run of exhibitions for the foreseeable future.
Despite Tyson stating that he wanted to remain active in the ring, he was mums the word on when and who he would be fighting next. That is, up until now. While he hasn’t revealed who his next opponent will be, he has given both a date and place as to when fans can expect him back in the ring.
“May 29th something like that,” said Tyson during his podcast Hotboxin with Mike Tyson with his guest Canelo Alvarez. “The same arena you fought in.”
For Alvarez, the unified super middleweight champion last fought on February 27th against Avni Yildirim at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Florida. With Tyson revealing that he plans on fighting in the same arena, the topic of discussion now flips to who exactly will he be fighting next?
That question, however, is still an open-ended one. With that said, according to multiple reports, long-time rival Evander Holyfield appears to be in the driver’s seat.
As for his most recent outing, many anticipated Tyson to score the knockout win against Jones Jr. in their November contest in 2020. That of course, didn’t happen as he was forced to settle for a draw. But while many were surprised with the outcome, everything went according to Tyson’s plan.
Regardless of the 2011 Hall of Famer showing off his still explosive power in several training videos, Tyson revealed that the game plan was never to go out there and actually inflict serious damage to Jones Jr.
After spending 15 years sequestered on the sidelines, Tyson simply wanted to get his feet wet. Now, after reminding himself of what it feels like to be in the ring, the 54-year-old believes he’s ready to let loose in his second go-round.
“I felt better than I anticipated,” said Tyson. ”I thought I would be a little more nervous than I was, but I was relaxed. I felt like ‘wow’ – I could do some more, I could punch more combinations, I could do this and do that. I said ‘wow, this is interesting and I want to do it again and I want to do it against someone I could go all out on. It made me interested in wanting to do it again. I wanted to go the distance, I didn’t want to knock anybody out. That’s what people expected, but I wanted to go the distance.”
If Holyfield is in fact Tyson’s next opponent, he’ll be ending a ten-year run of inactivity. The former multiple-time heavyweight champion was last seen in the ring on May 7th, 2011. On the night, Holyfield scored a tenth-round stoppage win over Brian Nielsen.
In spite of hanging up his gloves soon after, Holyfield has been spotted in the ring as he attempts to get back into fighting shape. In the process, Holyfield has shown no fear of fighting Tyson. In fact, after defeating him in back-to-back fights in the mid-90s, Holyfield has stated that even at their advanced age, a third showdown between them would end the exact same way.
“I can definitely handle him,” said Holyfield during an interview with Fiaz Rafiq and Richard Forrester of The Sun several months ago. “I can still shoot the jab, I can still shoot the shots. I’m going to hurt you. I’m going to show you that I can knock him out.”