If you have just crawled out from a cave in the Appalachians, or woken from a long slumber, you might not be aware of Mike Tyson’s upcoming fight against Roy Jones Jr. on Saturday, November 28.
It’s happening, alright, and there is clearly mega interest in how things will turn out. Of course, that has led to fans speculating whether Tyson will fight again following the conclusion of his exhibition bout with Jones.
It looks highly likely that the former heavyweight king will look to other opponents for a fight in 2021. And that’s all I need to get speculating on who that man will be.
I’ve picked five opponents that Tyson could fight next. Strap in and I’ll get started with the most likely candidate to get the gig after Jones.
Unquestionably, Tyson’s greatest rival.
Could former heavyweight world champion Evander Holyfield fight “Iron Mike” in 2021? It’s certainly a possibility. Especially when you consider how fast Holyfield was to hit the gym when news of Tyson’s return circulated earlier this year.
If “The Real Deal” is invited to fight, I don’t think there will be any hesitation to lace up the gloves and take Tyson on for the third time. Of course, the fight would be an exhibition bout that would look much different to the two heavyweight title fights the pair engaged in back in the late 1990s.
Well, you would hope that to be the case.
One of the most shocking moments in boxing history went down at Holyfield vs. Tyson 2 on June 28, 1997. Tyson, who had complained about Holyfield’s illegal headbutts and dirty boxing tactics, spat his gumshield out and bit the ear of his rival. Twice.
Chaos ensued, and one of the defining heavyweight feuds of the 90s ended with Holyfield picking up two wins over Tyson. How insane would it be to see both men at it again, 24 years on from that strange night for boxing?
Well, I don’t think it would be that strange at all.
The odds for Tyson vs. Jones Jr. turning into a crazy brawl that sees both men banned from any further exhibition fights would be pretty low, in my opinion. So providing Tyson looks capable in that bout on November 28, Tyson vs. Holyfield 3 could happen early next ear.
I mean year! Sorry, Evander.
Imagine you’re standing alone in a field on a beautiful summer’s day.
The birds are singing as a gentle breeze kisses your face. You are enclosed in a pocket of serenity, completely at one with life. Then, you hear a faint “Let’s go, champ!” The mantra gradually increases in volume until it’s in your face. That oasis of tranquility would dry up pretty darn quickly…
That’s the effect Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs has on his opponents. Anyone with knowledge of how the New Yorker hunted Wladimir Klitschko down for a shot at the title in the 2010s will understand what I mean.
Yes, for sure. It would be awesome to see Tyson and Briggs trash talking and going at it. That would be fun. A lot of fun.
If the whole point of Tyson’s return to the ring is for entertainment, then this should be the fight to make. Both guys are known to each other. They come from Brownsville, the same part of New York. They seem to respect each other. But the trash talk would be hilarious.
Briggs appeared on an episode of Mike Tyson’s podcast earlier this year. Tyson even admitted that he was “proud” of his fellow former heavyweight champ.
Briggs is up for this. I think he should definitely be up the top of the list of any potential opponents for Mike after the Jones fight.
Will Tyson fight Lennox Lewis next?
Well, it would be a bit of a crazy one, if it were to happen. Lewis, who knocked Tyson out in June 2002, doesn’t appear to be hungry to get back into the squared circle. Not as much as some of his peers from his era.
But that hasn’t stopped the Olympic gold medalist and all-time professional great from throwing shade Tyson’s way. In fact, he recently referred to Tyson as “one dimensional” on a British morning talk show. Sounds like fighting words to me.
But is there still tension between Tyson and Lewis? Well, despite their now infamous pre-fight brawl, both seem to be doing alright. In the clip below, they debate who started the ruckus that led to Tyson biting Lewis’s leg.
An exhibition fight between Tyson and Lewis does seem a little too far-fetched for me. I’m not saying that it can’t happen, but it would be surprising to see it coming to fruition.
Lewis isn’t the last boxer you would expect to see opposite Tyson, but he is certainly one of the bigger names that could be matched up against him. However, I’d put a couple of MMA guys ahead of him.
Until I see Lewis training like a mad man, I won’t be getting excited for his return to the ring.
Earlier this year, reports of a Mike Tyson vs. Wanderlei Silva fight did the rounds.
Even the best boxing sportsbooks were releasing odds for Tyson vs. Silva, making it feel even more legit. According to those reports, the former “Baddest Man on the Planet” was offered $20 million to fight Silva in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC).
Nothing materialized, of course. But still, there is a chance that we may yet see this fight happen in 2021.
Silva, known as “The Axe Murderer,” was one of the most ferocious mixed martial artists of the 2000s. The Brazilian fought across several promotions, including Pride, the UFC, and Bellator, and goes down as a legend of MMA.
Of course, Silva is over the hill at this stage and is nowhere near as vicious as he used to be. But in an exhibition boxing match, that’s going to work.
One thing that is interesting about this potential matchup is that Rafael Cordeiro, Wanderlei’s longtime head coach, is now training Tyson. Why not keep things in the (fighting) family?
It makes sense for both guys to fight at some point. But would there be sufficient interest to make it work? I think so. I can’t see why fans would be against this kind of matchup, providing both men are in shape and can put on something that resembles an entertaining bout.
I guess we’ll know more about Tyson’s capabilities after the Jones fight. But I don’t hate this matchup for an exhibition in 2021.
Ortiz, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, was a name frequently brought up as a potential opponent for Tyson’s ring return.
So it was no surprise when “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” called the former heavyweight wrecking ball out earlier this year. Ortiz claimed to receive “several phone calls” regarding a potential fight with Tyson and expressed his desire to get it on in the ring.
According to Ortiz, Tyson would have trouble on his hands if they were to meet.
“Don’t get me wrong, Mike’s very vicious, very tough but he hasn’t fought in a very long time.
“Those pads don’t hit back. It looks good hitting the pads until someone hits you back. For me being hungry and the ferocity it becomes a fight, it’s not a ‘show’ where you’re putting in a show display.”
It sounds like he is confident of owning the former heavyweight champion of the world.
I’m not sure this would be a fight that would work. Ortiz is hardly the type of striker that would look good in there against Tyson. Not like Wanderlei Silva, at least.
Of course, there will be other names that come up at some point. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tyson-Ortiz connection completely dies out. In my opinion, it just doesn’t make much sense.
Mike Tyson Odds, Bets, and More
It’s been fun speculating who Mike Tyson could fight next following his upcoming exhibition against Roy Jones Jr. on November 28.
Could it be one of Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Shannon Briggs, Wanderlei Silva, or Tito Ortiz? Absolutely. These guys are linked with a shot at the former heavyweight destroyer.
As for the most likely opponent from these five candidates? It has to be Holyfield, right?
Of course, we’ll get a better idea of just how capable Tyson is of competing in another matchup following his encounter with Jones in LA. Looking past that is probably not a good idea.
If you’re excited about betting on Tyson vs. Jones Jr., I’ll leave you with some of our most popular content relating to the fight.