Mike Tyson eyes two exhibition bouts in 2021; he reveals his preferred opponents

‘Iron’ Mike Tyson wants two exhibition fights before the end of this year and he has picked out his potential opponents…

Mike Tyson has revealed that he would like to fight Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis in his next two exhibition fights this year.

The 54-year-old only has six losses on his professional record, and three of them came at the hands of Holyfield and Lewis.

Tyson first fought Holyfield in November 1996 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The latter was the underdog for that fight but he handed 'Iron' Mike only his second career defeat.

After a strong tenth round, the fight was stopped in favour of Holyfield in the eleventh. They had a rematch in 1997 but Tyson was disqualified for infamously biting and tearing away a piece of his opponent's ear.

Tyson lost three out of his last four professional fights, and the first of these came against Lewis in 2002. 'The Lion' was making his first defence as undisputed world champion and he stopped Tyson in the eighth round.

15 years after his last pro fight, Tyson returned last November to face Roy Jones Jr in an eight-round exhibition bout.

The fight attracted 1.6m pay-per-view buys and it proved to be far more entertaining than most expected it to be in the build-up.

During the latest episode of his Hotboxin' podcast, Tyson suggested that he is hoping to face Holyfield and Lewis before the end of this year:

"I want Holyfield and I want Lennox Lewis this year.

"I want both of them, I think I can get em both this year ... else if I box an exhibition with Tyson Fury. If I do that - even if I can get those two guys, I'll say this is a wrap, I can go and live my life.

"And that's just exhibitions. I'm going to break all my true records with exhibitions."

Is 'Iron' Mike right to carry on fighting?

Tyson's journey over the past year or so has certainly been an interesting one. The announcement of his fight with Jones Jr initially came with a lot of trepidation from boxing purists. 

It was going to pit two 50-plus-year-old fighters, who were obviously well past their peak, against one another.

There was also a stigma around it being an exhibition, as fans were unsure how much action there would be over the eight rounds.

On top of this, there were concerns that Tyson and Jones Jr were unnecessarily putting themselves at risk of serious injury if things got too heated.

Thankfully, they found a happy medium as they provided a highly entertaining 24-minute fight that saw two aged but in shape boxers roll back the years.

Tyson continues to look in great condition months later and for younger fans robbed of watching him in his prime, these exhibitions are a decent way to get a glimpse at just how good he was. 

Understandably, these bouts have a certain shelf life with Tyson approaching his 60s. But while he and his opponents are fit and healthy to do so, why not have these fights.

As long as he does not get too carried away and steps in with Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury, more power to him!

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