Mike Tyson will return to the ring to fight Jake Paul in a Netflix special later this year. He will be 58 years old.  It is testament to the power of the Tyson brand and the mythology surrounding him that has created a surprising tidal wave of interest in this contest.    


UPDATE:  7 June 2024 

This event has been postponed due to a medical issue with Tyson. It will now take place on 15 November rather than the originally scheduled date of 20 July. The bout will be eight rounds of two minutes each and the fighters will use 14-ounce gloves.

Prior to the postponement, OddsChecker.com had reported that 70% of bets placed through their site for this fight were in support of Tyson.  These are the opening odds for the rescheduled event:

 Opening betting odds for rescheduled event [odds correct on 7 June 2024]

Mike Tyson is best-price 3.35 (+225 US Moneyline, 9/4 in fractional odds) and Jake Paul is a 1.62 best-price favourite (-161 US Moneyline, 8/13 in fractional odds). These implied probabilities suggest Paul has a 62% chance and Tyson 31% of winning. 

The Over/Under for Total Rounds is 5.5, with the Over favoured at 1.67 (-150; 4/6).

Updated betting strategy:

  • Lay Mike Tyson on the exchanges at anything from 3.00 (2/1) and lower.
  • This is the equivalent of backing Jake Paul and The Draw at combined odds of 1.50 (1/2). 



Original preview before the postponement...




Make no mistake, this is not the same as Muhammad Ali's ill-fated quest to return to heavyweight glory in the early 1980s.  In back-to-back defeats to Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick, Ali was a fully-licensed professional boxer deemed fit enough to fight for the WBC Heavyweight title.  He was sanctioned to fight, but he was not fit to fight and his disillusionment at this stage of his career is widely believed to be a significant contributor to his physical decline over the following years.  No boxing fan wants to see this repeated and there has been understandable derision from many of the old school.  

It would be beyond credibility for Mike Tyson, at 58 and a clear three decades past his prime, to be sanctioned to fight in a professional boxing match. As soon as this fight was announced, it was clear that it would not be a fight, but an "event", a catch-all term that allows the promotion to push it as a legitimate contest, while knowing full-well it will be nothing of the sort.

If Tyson had announced a return to the ring with a bout against 8-and-0 Sol Dacres, AKA "The Real Deal" and the 109th best heavyweight in the world, there would be real cause for concern that Tyson had genuinely lost his mental faculties. 

While Ali was sanctioned and disillusioned in the 1980s, Mike Tyson in 2024 is neither.

He is not stupid. Last summer he invited Jake Paul on to his Hotboxin' with Mike Tyson podcast. If you click through to the 5:00 minute mark you will hear Paul explain that boxing to him is "a business first actually, the fighting comes second".  He says his business is about "growing the platforms" of other fighters, including Amanda Serrano, who features as the co-main event on 20 July.

And now Mike Tyson too will play his part in the Jake Paul promotional juggernaut... and why not? Tyson is reported to be taking home around $20,000,000 for the 16 minutes of work required to do the 8 x 2 minute rounds likely to be scheduled for the bout.  (Don't be surprised to see Tyson representing his Tyson 2.0 cannabis brand during the build-up and the event itself.)

It was probably shortly after this podcast conversation that the idea of Tyson and Paul cashing-in was discussed between the two men.  It would explain why Paul would refer to Tyson as a family member rather than a rival in the YouTube comments.  Throughout the conversation, the two of them seem like they are on good terms, friendly and far more likely to go into business together than to go into battle against each-other.  

Jake Paul makes his feelings about Mike Tyson clear

Would you really want to fight your favourite uncle? 

I have had a similar conversation several times now, from casual and serious boxing fans alike, all with the same belief that Tyson can miraculously roll back the years and "smoke the YouTuber", or words to that effect.  I just don't get it. 

Tyson fans on X talking like it is 1987

Tyson Fury has recently said that the fight is "fantastic" for boxing which, for me, is a reminder to take the opposite opinion to pretty-much everything that comes out of his mouth.   On the subject of cold-takes, it is worth a brief look at some TikTok insights. 

Over there, you will get even more strong opinions about Mike Tyson's current boxing abilities and his ability to defeat Father Time.  

Tyson's social media "training videos from today" that were filmed several years ago

This individual is taking the Jake Paul approach to the promotion by referring to Tyson's archive footage from four years ago, and older, as if it is new.  Still, 32,000 people like this analysis.  

More TikTok insights 

This TikTok user stopped what they were doing as a gamer to give their thoughts on the Tyson vs Paul debate, gaining 110,000 nods of approval.   In fact, it is very hard to find anyone who doesn't think this is going to be a Tyson destruction of Jake Paul.   

I recently found myself in a conversation on TikTok about the fight. One individual was convinced that Tyson would win and referred to Mike's annihilation of the 1990s boxing side-show Eric "Butterbean" Esch as evidence.  It was an interesting form-line to use.  Mike Tyson has never fought Butterbean.  

There are many people on TikTok who claim to be "betting the house" on Tyson. This is also quite fun. If you ask them how much they are betting and at what odds, none of them will answer. Instead, they will either reply that "betting the house" is just a saying, not a promise. Or they delete their comment. 

Gene deleted this comment after I accepted his offer

Despite the insane tsunami of social media support for Mike Tyson, I have yet to find a single person who is actually betting on him. Conversely, I have had several conversations with experienced, sharp boxing/betting people who, like me, are giving Tyson no chance.

It is very curious.

Overwhelming public opinion shared online in a recent poll

If this online poll was right in as much as Jake Paul only has a 6% chance of winning, that would make him a 15/1 outsider against Tyson.  Paul must love seeing these polls. If the public believes he is going to be beaten by Tyson that is all the evidence he needs that they are lapping up this promotion.

And perhaps it is this overwhelming public support and belief in Tyson that goes some way to explaining why the odds-compilers have the betting lines so close in this one.  It wouldn't be the first time this has happened.

When Floyd Mayweather fought Conor McGregor in 2017 it would ultimately go down as the "The Betting Event Of The 2010s" with Mayweather's odds offering sharp bettors would become widely regarded as "The Greatest Bet Ever".  

Bill Krackomberger, a well-known professional sports bettor, reflects on that fight:

  • " I actually started doubting myself when the line started dropping, not even thinking that it's all these millennials, and all these kids who watch UFC. Their little $50, $100, $200 and $500 bets cumulatively added up to millions of dollars and forced the sportsbooks to over-move the lines to get the buyback from the sharps. I'm not sure there will ever be another betting opportunity like that again. "

This Paul vs Tyson event might just be the next opportunity he alluded to. Finding online opinions that support Jake Paul is very hard, they are so massively outnumbered by the TikTokers, YouTubers, "gamers" and armchair-experts.  But now and then you'll hear the voice of reason sounding out through all the noise.

Benito Camelo on YouTube - a rare voice of reason


The betting odds

Given the uncertainty about the rules for this event [at time of writing: 8-April-2024], it is curious that odds are even available.  It is absolutely staggering that Tyson is only a very slight 7/5 underdog.  The fact that the betting is so close is further evidence, should you need it, that there is no jeopardy in this fight.

A close "fight" or a business deal?  [Odds available at time of writing; 8 April 2024]

When Tyson fought Lennox Lewis in 2002, he admitted he had "three good minutes" in him. We are 22 years on since then, and probably about 22 acres of weed down since then. A younger Tyson often alluded to stamina and breathing issues due to having asthma. If he tries to maintain any sort of pace that looks ANYTHING like the vintage Tyson in archive footage and recent training clips, he will gas. This was true two decades ago and it is certainly true now. To quote BlackWolf on X, "last time I checked marijuana wasn’t the fountain of youth".   

If this was a boxing match with both fighters trying to win, Jake Paul would be a colossal (unbackable) favourite.  Pick ANY 10-fight pro fighter in their late-20s who weighs 200lbs and put them against ANY 58-year-old on the planet and you have the dictionary definition of a boxing mismatch.   Yes, even if it is Iron Mike Tyson in the opposite corner. 


The "fight"

I don’t care how “sh*t" people say Jake Paul is; he’s a professional 200lb boxer in his prime with decent natural power and athleticism and there is no way in the world that he will (1) want to or (2) be allowed to punch a 58-year-old man in the head with any genuine intent to inflict harm. 

Similarly, no 58-year-old man would sign up for that, even the mythical monster that is Mike Tyson, who has been shot since 1990. Arguably

Adding the often-overlooked fact that Tyson had titanium pins inserted into his neck 12 years ago, is it not patently ridiculous to believe that this is a real contest?

The amount of harm that could be done with lighter gloves and no head-gear is genuinely frightening. 

To put his age in perspective,  Tyson is already way too old to even be allowed to take part in a white-collar charity boxing event in the UK. In high-level sport, 58 is absurdly old. In combat sports, it is unfathomable.   

So why would anyone take it remotely seriously? They are friends and business partners. Their “fight” will be nothing more than a public workout between two gym buddies wearing 14- or 16-oz pillows-for-gloves.  There will be no more jeopardy than you will see if you go down to your local Virgin Active boxercise class.

No matter how many times we are shown archive footage of Tyson hitting the pads for 3 seconds and edited together into a montage that makes him look like the baddest man on the planet again, and no matter how many promotional clips we are fed showing that these two are now the darkest of enemies with various phoney motives, it doesn't change the fact that this is a cash-grab... and I am absolutely fine with that.  

Tyson isn’t stupid and Paul isn’t going to risk seriously hurting a 58-year-old. Period.


A prediction

Over the coming months we will hear a lot of people saying that if Tyson just comes out firing he can get Paul out of there early.  I simply do not see this as anything but farfetched wishful thinking. Those epic training montages of Tyson looking like he is incredible shape are doing a huge amount of heavy-lifting for this promotion. I love them as much as the next fan.  I just don't think they mean anything.  

Keep an eye out for these clips... you've almost certainly already seen them. Tyson looks fast and powerful on the pads and bag, but that doesn't mean he's fit to be taking proper heavyweight blows delivered with bad intentions. He will not be taking hard punches to the head at 58.  

Regardless of how many times the promotion train tells us this is a real "sanctioned" fight, if it turns out to be the type of exhibition that I suspect it will be, the draw is a massive contender. That can be backed at 23/5 (5.6 in decimal odds) which has no real standalone appeal at that price.

In terms of reputational damage, one has to think that the contract (or script) is written in such a way that neither man will lose face.  A draw would not help the Jake Pual brand and we know that it's all about the business for him. He is literally the promoter of this event and he is still rebuilding after the Tommy Fury disaster last year. 

Draw No Bet odds.   [Odds available at time of writing; 8 April 2024]

It might not be a good move in the popularity stakes for Paul to stop (or even vaguely hurt) an aging sporting legend who has a massive global fanbase and seems to be at peace, currently enjoying a 7th decade on the planet.

It is therefore more likely that he wins a decision, carrying his dear old "Uncle Mike" through the entire thing, perhaps even having a little wobble for dramatic effect on route, while Tyson enhances his popularity (and market-share) with a new audience who are being introduced to the legendary heavyweight a generation after his prime.  (I wouldn't be that surprised if Jake Paul actually stops a fatiguing Tyson "by mistake" even if he hasn't actually hurt him.) 

For these reasons, I have bet on Jake Paul Draw No Bet at odds of 4/6 (1.67 in decimals odds) or better. The Draw No Bet market means that if the contest ends in a draw, your stake is returned.  I have also layed (bet against) Tyson on the Betfair exchange at prices between 2.30 and 2.50; that bet wins if there is a Draw or a Jake Paul victory.

Please note that this is a novelty event and sportsbooks will likely be taking very low stakes on these markets. The exchange will the better option if you're looking for a reasonable stake.

  • Draw No Bet: Jake Paul to win @ 1.67 (4/6 in fractional odds) 
  • Lay Mike Tyson on Betfair @ 2.50 (6/4 in fractional odds)




See all of our big-time boxing analysis here.

The 9th Round: The Most Important Round In History? Click here.

The Rematch: Oleksandr Usyk vs Tyson Fury 2.  Click here.

Jake Paul vs Mike Tyson has been announced for 15 November 2024.  Why so serious?

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