Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) has offered boxing legend Mike Tyson a guaranteed $20 million dollar payout, should the 53-year-old former champion take off the gloves following his announcement of an intention to return to competition.
Tyson, a former undisputed world heavyweight champion, has stated his intent to return to competition, though BKFC was not exactly the destination he may have had in mind.
In an Instagram Live video with rapper T.I., Tyson said, “I’ve been working out, I’ve been trying to get in the ring, I think I’m going to box some exhibitions and get in shape… I want to go to the gym and get in shape to be able to box three or four-round exhibitions for some charities and stuff. I do two hours on cardio, I do the bike and the treadmill for an hour, then I do some light weights, 300, 250 reps. Then I start my day with the boxing thing, I go in there and hit the mitts, 30 minutes, 25 minutes, start getting in better condition,” according to transcription from the New York Post.
BKFC is not an exhibition, which Tyson mentioned in the live stream as a potential form of return.
BKFC President David Feldman, speaking to Heavy.com, confirmed that the promotion offered Tyson the massive sum.
“While we did make a guaranteed offer of $20 Million for Mike [Tyson] to fight for BKFC,” said Feldman, “we’re open to many different options as to how we can work together. Obviously, the excitement of seeing Mike’s video showing himself training and desire to participate in exhibitions inspired us to reach out and make the offer.”
Last Friday, a training video showing Tyson hitting the pads with famed MMA coach Rafael Cordeiro was uploaded to Tyson’s Instagram; since, the video has garnered over ten million views.
Tyson has not competed professionally since a 2005 loss to Kevin McBride, which capped his illustrious 50-6-2 (44 KOs) career inside the ring.
BKFC, which promoted its first event in 2018, has taken to signing prominent, albeit aged, names in the boxing and MMA worlds in an effort to draw viewers and earn legitimacy as a sport. Recently, the promotion signed fellow former boxing heavyweight champion Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs, who is 48.
Michael Fiedel is The Body Lock's deputy editor, a staff writer for FloCombat, and a Russell-Rice scholarship recipient at Vanderbilt University.