Mike Tyson walked out to Tupac Shakur’s “Ambitionz Az a Ridah” on Monday night to officially announce his comeback fight against Jake Paul later this summer.

“Let’s f****** go,” were the first words Tyson shared on stage to the audience who gathered at the Apollo Theater in New York.

Tyson (50-6, 44 KOs) then elaborated on why he’s coming out of retirement at the age of 58 against the novice yet prolific knockout artist Paul (9-1, 6 KOs) on July 20 at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The event will be streamed on Netflix.

“It was a no-brainer,” said Tyson. “He’s a new up-and-coming guy on the scene. And I like shaking the sports world to its core and I am doing it now. It’s just something that I want to do. 

“This fight is very important. Just the fact that he is taking the opportunity to fight me is mind-blowing … I’m very impressed with what he’s accomplished.”

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations has sanctioned the heavyweight matchup as a professional bout that is set to be contested over eight, two-minute rounds with 14-ounce gloves. 

When Tyson was asked to respond to detractors who’ve been critical in his quest to fight the 27-year-old Paul, he clapped back with composure.

“I’m beautiful. That’s all I can say,” said Tyson “The people who said that [I am too old to fight] wish that they were up here. No one else can do this. Who else can do this? Who else can shut the sporting world down? No one else can do it. You got the both of us, so we’re going to do this. We’re friends. There’s no doubt we’re friends. But in the ring, we’re not going to be friends. That’s just what it is.”

The former heavyweight champion Tyson has not fought professionally since 2005 and came out of retirement for an exhibition match against Roy Jones Jr. in 2020.

“Iron Mike” further commented on how training for his comeback has been going.

“I’m doing great but my body is s*** right now. I’m really sore. I wish [I was playing possum],” said Tyson. 

“I wanted shorter rounds because I wanted more action. If we only have two minutes we are fighting more.

“We’re going to see, huh, [if Paul can take my power]. 

“No, I’m not [trying to put an end to Paul]. I really like Jake a lot. But once he’s in that ring, he has to fight like his life is depending on it, because it will be. 

“This seems like it’s going to be fun. Maybe we’ll do it again, too [against someone else]. But can I take care of Jake first, please?” 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.

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