‘I was a ghost of myself back then’: Mike Tyson reveals he ‘just didn’t want to fight any more’ and ‘never wanted to come back’ after sorry defeat by Kevin McBride in 2005 as he gets set for sensational return to the ring against Roy Jones Jr
- Mike Tyson is preparing to take on Roy Jones Jr in an exhibition bout next month
- The American reminisced about his last career fight in a pre-fight conference
- Tyson claims he struggled to enjoy boxing after his 2005 loss to Kevin McBride
- He also described Jones Jr as a ‘brother’ ahead of his highly-anticipated return
Mike Tyson had to overcome the terror of getting back in the ring after his abject last fight 15 years ago before he agreed to next month’s return of the fifty-somethings against Roy Jones Jr.
Nothing less than the fear of God has played into his decision to take the plunge.
‘I was a ghost of myself in Washington back then,’ says Iron Mike about the sad night when he declined to rise from his stool for the seventh round against journeyman Irish heavyweight Kevin McBride.
Mike Tyson claimed he had to overcome the terror of getting back into the ring 15 years ago
Tyson (right)’s last fight saw him lose to Kevin McBride (left) in a 2005 clash in Washington
‘I just didn’t want to fight any more. After that I never wanted to come back. There’s been offers but I was nervous of doing it.’
Now, as a long-time Moslem convert, he says: ‘God has always been the only being I’ve feared and I’ve got to meet him eventually.
‘After everything in my life there’s a lot of things I need to do be right before that day comes and this fight is one of them. I’m ready to do this now.’
Tyson references the large charity donation he will make for facing ‘my brother legend Roy.’
Tyson claimed he didn’t want to fight anymore back then but he is set to return next month
But he rebuffs all suggestions that the pay-per-viewers will see nothing more than an exhibition fight on November 28.
The gloves will weigh a puffy 12 ounces and the rounds will only last two minutes – ‘I thought that was supposed to be for women boxers’ – but he makes it clear: ‘I’ll be coming to fight like I always fight. Anybody who knows me will know this will be no exhibition.
‘This is serious. Roy is another great fighter of legend and I’ve trained like 20 years ago.’
Tyson (left) will take on Roy Jones Jr (right) in an exhibition match next month for his return
Certainly, at 54, he looks as powerful and fast as of old in the videos and Jones, 51, says he too has turned back the clock in the gym.’ Take it easy?’ he answers rhetorically.
‘You crazy. I’m going to fight the most dangerous boxer who’s ever been in the ring. Mike looks awesome.’
Jones has his own cute reason for taking the fight: ‘Ever since I retired (just two years ago), kids have kept coming up to ask me if I ever fought the great Mike Tyson. Now, at last, I’m going to be able to say yes.’
Jones Jr (above) claimed that people kept on asking him whether he has ever fought Tyson
Both dismiss concerns for their health. Tyson: ‘We’ve passed our medicals easy.’ Jones: ‘This coronavirus is the bigger adversary for us all. Let’s give everyone something exciting to look forward too.’
Tyson, the only one of the two wearing a mask for their first zoom video conference together – his traditional black of course – growled:’ Yeah, man. You know I’ll be coming for you.’
This match for the ages has been made by his own new Legends promotion company and the Triller video-streaming TV which is making its move in the US sports market.
BT Sport have just confirmed they will be showing the fight live on their Box Office channel late on November 28, following their normal subscription screening of the Joe Joyce v Daniel Dubois blockbuster for the British and European heavyweight titles earlier that night.