Mike Tyson to fight Jake Paul. Yes, an ex-heavyweight champ is boxing a YouTuber on Netflix

Ref Arthur Mercante points the way to the corner for Mike Tyson, right, after he knocked down Steve Zouski in the third round
Referee Arthur Mercante points the way to the neutral corner for Mike Tyson, right, after he knocked down Steve Zouski in the third round at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., on March 11, 1986.
(Ray Stubblebine / Associated Press)

Jake Paul declared he’s “ready for the big leagues” Saturday night following his first-round technical knockout of Ryan Bourland.

He better be.

Paul’s next match was announced Thursday, and it’s against one of the greatest boxers — Mike Tyson. The heavyweight bout will take place July 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and will be streamed exclusively on Netflix.

“It’s crazy to think that in my second pro fight, I went viral for knocking out Nate Robinson on Mike Tyson’s undercard,” Paul said in a statement about the 2020 card that Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. headlined at Staples Center. “Now, less than four years later, I’m stepping up to face Tyson myself to see if I have what it takes to beat one of boxing’s most notorious fighters and biggest icons.”


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Paul, a 27-year-old YouTube influencer and former Disney Channel star, is 9-1 with six knockouts as a boxer. He has been criticized for facing opponents who are either not boxers by trade, including several aging mixed martial arts stars, or unknown boxers.

This fight changes that narrative, former World Boxing Council light-middleweight champion and current DAZN commentator Sergio Mora told The Times via text Thursday morning.

“He’s fought pros and now going to face a former heavyweight world champion,” Mora wrote. “How can we not give Paul respect now for having the balls (and following) to be able to make and sell a fight like this?”

Mike Tyson, center, attends a boxing match between Jake Paul and Tommy Fury in Saudi Arabia.
Mike Tyson, center, attends a boxing match between Jake Paul and Tommy Fury on Feb. 26, 2023, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
(Associated Press)

Of course, the elephant in the room is the age difference between the two fighters. Tyson will be 58 at the time of the fight. He’s considered one of the greatest boxers, but his reign as undisputed heavyweight champion was more than three decades ago. When Tyson retired as a professional boxer in 2005, Paul was 8 and still several years away from becoming a teenage internet star with his brother Logan Paul.

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Even so, Mora predicts a competitive fight between Paul and Tyson.


“If the fight is eight rounds, Mike Tyson should beat him by decision,” Mora said. “As much as I would like to say by knockout, it’s hard to see a 58-year-old man knocking out a guy 30 years younger, stronger and very athletic.”

Paul and Tyson have appeared on Netflix together before. Last year, Tyson made waves in the fighting community by declaring Paul is “gonna save boxing” during an interview featured in the streaming service’s documentary, “Untold: Jake Paul the Problem Child.

Tyson still has plenty of positive things to say about Paul as a boxer — even though Iron Mike intends to “finish him” during their bout in July.

“He’s grown significantly as a boxer over the years, so it will be a lot of fun to see what the will and ambition of a ‘kid’ can do with the experience and aptitude of a GOAT,” Tyson said in a statement. “It’s a full circle moment that will be beyond thrilling to watch; as I started him on his boxing journey on the undercard of my fight with Roy Jones and now I plan to finish him.”

Boxers contacted by The Times said they were unaware that California has a 40-year-old pension program or that they are its beneficiaries.

May 11, 2023