Hall of Fame boxing promoter Don King, who promoted former heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, for years has welcomed the 54-year olds return to the sport. ‘Iron Mike’ is set to take on Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition bout on September 12 in California. Tyson hasn’t fought since 2005. His 51-year-old opponent has been much more active, Jones Jr. last competed in 2018 – he is currently riding a four-fight win streak.
In an interview with All Hip Hop King praised Tyson and Jones for risking it all by getting back into the boxing ring – the scariest of all sports arenas, he said.
“[Men are] still out there, you know, putting their lives in jeopardy. I don’t care who you are. You got to respect it, man. Waking up those three steps [into the ring]. You ain’t got a league [like other sports] where you can take a ‘time out’ to sit in a separate room. When you go in there, you had to deal with it real! That guy? That’s your opponent.”
The 88-year-old promoter says his rocky relationship with Tyson is on the up and has been for many years.
“I love Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson came to me and he says, ‘Don [anytime] I tell the truth about you – they won’t give me nothing. But if I tell the lies about you, [I can get paid],'” King said.
“I said, ‘Get the money! Whenever you want to get the money.’ I’ve never said anything negative about Mike Tyson. But Milke Tyson has berated me to the high heavens. I let him survive. Roy Jones [split from] his father [who trained him in the 90’s], Roy Jones. His father did everything in the world to get Roy Jones [successful] and give him that and you can’t forget your father. You know Roy Jones made a little slip there, you know because you don’t forget the dirt road.”
Do you agree with Don King? Should Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. deserve respect for stepping back into the ring?