Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has claimed that ESPN offered him an exhibition boxing match contract with Mike Tyson, but that the 53-year-old was asking for too much money.
Tyson recently announced that he would be returning to the ring exclusively for charity matches. Since then, he has released multiple videos online of him training, where he looks just as devastatingly powerful as he was in his prime.
It was then reported that the American received an offer from Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship for a $20 million fight, which he turned down.
It has now been revealed that Tyson would require much more than $20 million to return to the sport, as Fury claimed during an interview with iFL TV, as per BJ Penn: "There was talk of it. I was contacted by Mike Tyson's people and me and Mike had a phone call. It was definitely real but nothing ever materialised with it.
"They was offering the money to Mike, and they came back and offered us like peanuts completely. Mike Tyson was talking to me like $500 million. What came back to us on paper was like okay this has got to be a joke, someone is crazy.
"Nothing ever happened, nothing materialised. I did have the offer on the table from ESPN of $10 million to do the fight like an exhibition. It was what it was, I think everyone's moved on.
"For me, I would have just loved to share the ring with Mike Tyson, just have a little move around with him. But, you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. Mike Tyson is looking fit and sharp and I'm sure he could still knock a wall down.
"If he hits me with a few shots people will say Tyson Fury is no good and a 53-year-old man beat him up. But if I wallop Mike in the first round then whatever, I'm a bully. So, it's a lose-lose situation for me. I might be gaining some money but it's money that I don't need to gain from a fighting man who is past his best."
Half a billion dollars seems like a bit much for a promoter to pay a semi-retired star. Regardless of Tyson's pulling power, it would be very difficult to excuse spending so much on one person.
For now, then, it doesn't look like we'll be getting "Iron" Mike back in the ring any time soon, or perhaps ever again if he's insistent on charging such mad prices.
Seems like a massive shame, but you can understand Fury's issues with the idea.
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