‘Age doesn’t matter’: Mike Tyson, Jake Paul discuss experience vs. youth dynamic of boxing match

Perhaps nothing could underscore the age difference between Mike Tyson and Jake Paul more than these two facts: When 20-year-old Tyson became the youngest heavyweight boxing champion in 1986, Paul wasn’t even a thought in his parents’ minds. And eleven years later, when Tyson infamously bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear during their rematch in 1997, Paul was still in diapers.

Now in the year 2024, Paul, 27, is somehow set to meet Tyson in a Netflix live-streamed boxing match scheduled for eight two-minute rounds July 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. By the time the opening bell rings, Tyson will be 58, having last competed in a 2020 exhibition bout with Roy Jones Jr. that ended in a draw.

There are natural questions about age and ability surrounding Tyson (50-6) vs. Paul (9-1), with skeptics wondering if Tyson is too old to still compete. His response?

“I think the people that said that wish they were up here,” Tyson said during Monday’s news conference in New York. “Because no one else can do it. Who else can do this? Who else can shut the sporting world down? No one else can do it. You’ve got the both of us, and we’re gonna do this.”

And what about Paul? Yes, he obviously has youth on his side, but that also means Tyson is much more experienced compared to Paul, who’s boxed for a little more than four years against mostly MMA fighters and low-level boxers.

What are the chances Paul gets clocked by Tyson, who’s shown in training videos to still possess knockout power, even at his age.

“A lot of people are doubting me,” Paul said. “I go onto the Instagram comments and I see them all saying, ‘If Jake wins this fight, it’s rigged’ because of how incredible he looks. Age doesn’t matter. Age is just a number. He’s a killer, he’s a warrior, he’s been doing this his whole, entire life, so it’s second nature to him. I’ve been doing this for four years, and I’ve been doing it at a super high level.

“On July 20th, I’m gonna show the world that I can outbox Mike Tyson and prove everyone wrong and show everyone that I will be the one doing the killing.”

As evidenced by their playful first faceoff following Monday’s news conference, Tyson and Paul have an amicable relationship. Tyson, however, said that goes by the wayside once fight night arrives.

“We’re friends,” Tyson said. “There’s no doubt we’re friends, but in that ring we’re not gonna be friends. That’s just what it is.”

For more on the fight, visit MMA Junkie’s hub for Paul vs. Tyson.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie