Mike Tyson’s return to boxing may have moved a step closer as an Australian promoter offered him $1 million for a single fight against New Zealand rugby legend turned pugilist Sonny Bill Williams.
Tyson has been training hard under California-based MMA expert Rafael Cordeiro as he aims to get fighting-fit ahead of a potential series of charity fights.
But Aussie promoter Brian Amatruda has made the first paid plea to Tyson and says the mooted bout against either New Zealander Williams, an ex-rugby union pro with an unbeaten boxing record, or former rugby league players Barry Hall and Paul Gallen would pull in a huge crowd.
“I’d hold it at Melbourne Arena where we’d get over 10,000 or even Princes Park where they got 30,000 for Jeff Fenech versus Azumah Nelson,” said Amatruda.
“He (Tyson) might be 53 years old but he’s still a huge name and any of those blokes Hall, Gallen or Sonny Bill would jump at the chance to get into the ring with him.”
Tyson’s trainer Cordeiro says his man could be ready for a Pay-per-view fight in as little as five months, and footage of him hitting the pads recently went viral, with viewers astonished at the power Tyson still has.
Amatruda certainly thinks Tyson still has the ability to put on a show and is happy to wait for the current restrictions on travel and mass gatherings to be lifted, saying:
“‘The first thing I did was contact (celebrity agent) Max Markson and ask him to offer Tyson $1million.
“Max brought him to Australia in 2012. He gets on well with him and his wife but the main thing is that he got him a visa to get into the country back then and that’s the key.
“We’d have to wait until the coronavirus shutdowns are over of course so the fight probably wouldn’t be until early next year – as long as we can get the visa.
“I’d make it part of a card with a world title fight. It would be enormous. Not just a fight, it would be an event.”
Tyson’s last official appearance in the ring was back in September, 2006 at the age of 40 as he took on sparring partner Corey ‘T-Rex’ Sanders in a four-round exhibition match in Ohio.
Tyson looked tired and heavy as he wore a T-shirt throughout the fight, which was put together as an attempt to raise money for his mounting debts at the time.