The promotion has been dubbed "Tyson Is Back!" Does that mean that Mike Tyson, the former Baddest Man on the Planet, out of the ring since a 2005 loss to Kevin McBride, is lacing up the gloves, giving it one more go, at age 47?
No dice, diehards.
You will not see Iron Mike chasing past glories in the boxing ring, not judging by his words at a Wednesday press conference at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY.
Tyson talked at the presser as lead promoter of a Friday card at Turning Stone, topped by a Argenis Mendez IBF super featherweight title defense against Arash Usmanee, a scrap that will run on ESPN's "Friday Night Fights."
"I never want to be back in the ring," said Tyson, who was jovial and acted pleased to be alive, a contrast to many of his pre-fight appearances when he campaigned as a pro, from 1985 til the McBride loss. "I understand what these guys are going through. We want to be known for being worthy but most fighters are shy. I'm going to watch them, as a fan, and be so happy I'm not in there."
A Tyson-Evander Holyfield fight, with proper buildup, would probably do 100,000 buys on pay-per-view, such is the fascination with known entities, even ones chugging toward 50, and over the line, as Holyfield is. But Tyson is one of the rare ones, who has found compelling and lucrative enough vocational opportunities outside the ring to keep him occupied, and not susceptible to the lure of the ill-advised ring return.
The season finale of ESPN's Friday Night Fights is presented by Corona Extra. Friday's show will air live at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2, WatchESPN and broadband Spanish-language ESPN Deportes+. ESPN Deportes will televise Friday's fights on Saturday, August 24, at 7 p.m. ESPN3 will exclusively carry two additional bouts at 7 p.m. before Friday's 9 p.m. telecast. Friday's fights on ESPN3: a 10-round welterweight bout between Ed Paredes (33-3-1, 22 KOs) and Noe Bolanos (25-7-1, 16 KOs) and a 10-round junior lightweight bout between Alexei Collado (16-0, 15 KOs) and Hugo Partida (18-4-2, 14 KOs).
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