Mike Tyson explains decision to return to the boxing ring for 8-round exhibition match

Tyson, 54, will face Roy Jones Jr., 51, in California on Sept. 12.

July 23, 2020, 3:14 PM

Mike Tyson is stepping back into the boxing ring this September for the first time in 15 years.

On Thursday, the former undisputed heavyweight champ announced his return on Twitter, along with a video previewing the matchup with Roy Jones Jr.

PHOTO: Mike Tyson performs his one man show "Undisputed Truth" in the Music Box at the Borgata on March 6, 2020, in Atlantic City, N.J.
Mike Tyson performs his one man show "Undisputed Truth" in the Music Box at the Borgata on March 6, 2020, in Atlantic City, N.J.
Donald Kravitz/Getty Images, FILE

Tyson, 54, will square up with Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition match on Sept. 12 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

"Iron Mike" joined ESPN's "First Take" on Thursday and explained his decision for the big return.

"It's because I can do it. And I believe other people believe they can do it, too," Tyson told ESPN. "Just because we are 54, it doesn't mean that we have to start a new career and our lives are totally over. Not when you feel as beautiful as I do, and I'm sure that other people feel the same way."

He continued, "I never took that many punches. After the last fight I had, I left and I lived my life, and I've been through some experiences, and now I'm back here. I feel like I took better care of my body and my state of mind than most of the fighters before me that retired and came back."

Jones, 51, was considered the most brilliant boxer in the sport and defeated Scott Sigmon in his last professional appearance in February 2018.

When asked by ESPN about the risk that he and Jones could face at their ages, Tyson didn't seem concerned.

PHOTO: In this March 16, 1996, file photo, Mike Tyson and Frank Bruno fight for the WBC Heavyweight title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Tyson won the fight with a 5th round TKO.
In this March 16, 1996, file photo, Mike Tyson and Frank Bruno fight for the WBC Heavyweight title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Tyson won the fight with a 5th round TKO.
Focus On Sport/Getty Images, FILE

"We're both accomplished fighters, we know how to take care of ourselves," he said. "It's an eight-round exhibition. And, listen, we'll be all right. Trust me, we can take care of ourselves."

Famed Mixed Martial Arts coach Rafael Cordeiro has apparently been training Tyson for months for the upcoming fight and will be in his corner, ESPN reported.

The bout will air exclusively on multimedia platform Triller and will be available on Pay-per-view broadcast.

According to ESPN, Triller will also show a 10-part docuseries leading up to the bout.

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