Mike Tyson reveals original opponent before accepting Roy Jones Jr fight

USTA 19th Annual Opening Night Gala Blue Carpet

Mike Tyson has had plenty of options for his comeback fight (Picture: Getty Images)

Mike Tyson had accepted a boxing match with veteran pro wrestler and mixed martial artist Bob Sapp for his comeback bout, before agreeing a deal to box Roy Jones Jr in September.

Iron Mike and Jones Jr will compete in an eight-round exhibition bout on 12 September, as Tyson steps into the ring for the first time since 2005.

Amid talk of a comeback for the youngest world heavyweight champion in history, plenty of possible opponents had been mentioned, with numerous fighters throwing their hats in the ring.

Former opponent Evander Holyfield looked a likely choice for a trilogy fight, while everyone from current heavyweight champion Tyson Fury to former UFC champ Tito Ortiz were mooted as possible challengers to the Baddest Man on the Planet.

Former four-weight world champion Jones Jr eventually got the nod, but the fight very nearly went to the 6’5″ behemoth Sapp, who has spent much of his career in Japan in the professional wrestling ring and competing in MMA.

Explaining how his comeback came about, Tyson told TMZ: ‘At one time I was 90lbs over weight, I was doing bad, I was doing cocaine, I was drinking.

‘I said, I need to stop me from being this way. I changed my whole life.

Saint-Tropez Party On French Riviera

Bob Sapp would have been a lot to handle for Iron Mike (Picture: WireImage)

‘Eventually I got married, my life started to change, I started working out.

‘My brother-in-law said: “Listen, I know you don’t wanna fight, but would you fight Bob Sapp? Somebody wants to offer you a lot of money to fight Bob Sapp.”

‘I said, “get outta here, I told people I don’t fight no more.” Then my mind went “ding!”

‘”What are the actual rules they want to fight under? Will they box me under the Marquis of Queensbury? They said yes and I said, yes I’ll fight him.

‘I know Bob Sapp is very big, strong, but if he fights me under the boxing rules then I can handle him

‘I said yes, then for some reason it went from Bob Sapp, to somebody else, to this guy and now on 12 September it’s Roy Jones.

‘I don’t know how this happened, I’m just very grateful I’m not living the life I was living before.’

Boxer Roy Jones Jr at Tula Suvorov Military School

Roy Jones Jr will fight Mike Tyson in September (Picture: TASS via Getty Images)

Jones Jr, who has fought much more recently than Tyson, in 2018, and is three years his junior at 51, is confident of winning the bout.

‘If Mike doesn’t kill quick he’s fighting one of the smartest savviest guys to ever do the thing, if he don’t kill quick he’s in trouble.

‘If you don’t kill right away what are you going to do? I seen all those smoking videos don’t think I don’t know what’s going on, I’m not stupid.

‘I’m not going to try and go out there in the first round and take him out like I’m a fool. He’s still strong early, he’s still a strong lion.

‘But I’ve got a cheetah’s mentality which means I’ve got to get quick. If he don’t kill me quick his ass belongs to me then.’

MORE: ‘His ass belongs to me!’ Roy Jones Jr hits back at Mike Tyson and reveals his fight strategy

MORE: Anthony Joshua fires warning to Mike Tyson ahead of Roy Jones Jr fight

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

General Sport

Share your story or advertise with us: Whatsapp: +2347068686071, +2348053062268, Email: [email protected]